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Fifty-Three Years in Syria 

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Fifty-Three Years 
In Syria 


Introduction by James S. Dennis, D. D. 


New York Chicago Toronto 

Fleming H. Re veil Company 

London and Edinburgh 

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Copyright, 1910, by 


• • ••• 

• • • 
•• • 

•^ ; •*% -% ••. 

•2 2 *• • •• 

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 80 Wabash Avenue 
Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W. 
London: ai Paternoster Square 
Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street 

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_ o 





18 1911 

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to the 
Memory of 

my revered father^ Hon. William Jessup^ 
JUL D.^ and my beloved mother^ Amanda 
Harris Jessup : by whose godly example^ 
wise counsel^ and fervent prayers^ I was 
led to Christ in my early boyhood; who 
helped me on my Christian course and to 
learn the luxury of doing good^ and cheer- 
fully gave me and my brother Samuel to 
the missionary work^ at a time when a 
journey to Syria seemed like an act of self 

I have tried to follow their example^ and 

pray that my children and grandchildren 

may aU prove worthy of such an ancestry. 

" The memory of the just is blessed!^ 

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THE author of this volume is one of the pioneers of the 
new historic era and the changing social order in the 
Nearer East He is entitled to this distinction not be- 
cause of direct political activity, or of any strenuous role as a 
social reformer, but because of those fifty-three years of mission- 
ary service in the interests of religious uplift, educational progress, 
social morality, and all those civilizing influences which now by 
general consent are recognized results of the missionary enter- 

It is a chronicle of eventful years in the history of Western 
Asia. It is necessarily largely personal, as the book is a com- 
bination of autobiographical reminiscence with a somewhat de« 
tailed record of mission progress in Syria. No one can fail to be 
impressed with the variety and continuity, as well as the large 
beneficence of a life service such as is herein reviewed. In ver- 
satile and responsible toil, in fidelity to his high commission, in 
diligence in the use of opportunity, in unwavering loyalty to the 
call of missionary duty, his career has been worthy of the ad- 
miration and affectionate regard of the Church. The writer of 
this introduction regards it as one of the privileges of his mis- 
sionary service in Syria that for twenty-two of the fifty-three 
years which the record covers he was a colleague of the author, 
and that such a delightful intimacy has marked a lifelong friend- 

Dr. Jessup has been a living witness of one of the most vivid and 
dramatic national transformations which the world's annals re- 
cord, as well as himself a contributor, indirectly and unconsciously 
perhaps, yet no less truly and forcefully, to dianges as romantic, 
weird, and startling as the stage of history presents. We seem 


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4 Introduction 

to be in the enchanted atmosphere of politics after the order of 
the Arabian Nights. In fact, no tale of the Thousand and One 
Nights can surpass in imaginative power, mystical import, and 
amazing significance, this story of the transportation of an en- 
tire empire, as if upon some magic carpet of breathless flight, 
from the domain of irresponsible tyranny to the realm of con- 
stitutional government. The cruel and shocking episode of mas- 
sacre in transit seems to be in keeping with the ruthless barbarity 
of the despotic environment. 

The author has presented his readers with a chapter of church 
history, which resembles a modern version of the annals of the 
great Reformation, and at the same time has a significant bearing 
upon the contemporary status of Christianity where it impinges 
upon Islam. The early fathers wrote of the opening struggles of 
Christianity with an overshadowing and hostile heathen environ- 
ment. Modem historians have told us of the great conflicts 
with the corrupt and unsavoury medievalism of the Reformation 
era. Now in our day has come the turn of the later fathers of 
this missionary era, who are giving us a voluminous record of 
the world-embracing conflicts of present-day Christianity with 
the great dominant religions of the non-Christian world. Such 
volumes as Cary's *' History of Christianity in Japan," Richter's 
«' History of Missions in India," Warneck's '< Outline of a 
History of Protestant Missions," Stock's " History of the Church 
Missionary Society," and the " Records of the China Centenary 
Conference at Shanghai," with many others that might be men* 
tioned, already form the later chronicles of a triumphant advance, 
which is no doubt finally to claim a world-wide victory. 

The author's record is limited of course to one storm-centre of 
the foreign mission field. The story as he recounts it in page after 
page of his book is full to overflowing with rapid movement and 
crowded detail, but his fund of anecdote and incident constantly 
enlivens what readers unfamiliar with missionary history in Syria 
might find lacking in personal interest to them. His reminiscences 
of distinguished visitors and travellers, his genial records of social 
hours, or of touring companionships, his wealth of judicious and 

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Introduction 5 

vigorbus comment upon questions of missionary policy and 
practice, his unflinching characterization of fraud, corruption, and 
hierarchical assumption, his frequent allusion to the light which 
the land and its customs throw upon the Bible, his sketches of 
social etiquette and every-day life a generation or more ago, be- 
fore the modernization of Syria began, are all valuable features 
of the narrative. 

There are other aspects which no reader will fail to note, and 
which give a lively interest to the contents of the volume. His 
chronicles of persecution, spoliation, civil war, and massacre, 
which have so often marked the religious and political turmoils 
of the Asiatic Levant, his flashlights upon the confused religious 
entanglements of the Nearer Orient, his descriptive glimpse9 of 
the natural features and the physical phenomena, as well as the 
flora and fauna, of lands famous in Uterature and history, his 
references to men and women prominent in the tragic drama of 
civil and religious strife, as, for example, his story of Abd el 
Kadir, are illustrative of the variety which marks the subject 

His annals of church growth and organization in Syria, and the 
touching and often deeply stirring accounts of the experiences of 
individual converts, some of whom were martyrs, and all of whom 
passed through spiritual struggles, or endured cruel mockings and 
harassing persecutions, lend a living interest to the record. His 
report of educational progress — marvellous and beyond all ex- 
pectation in the case of such an institution as the Syrian Prot- 
estant College at Beirut, his chronicles of literary toil and 
scholarly achievements in Bible translation, as well as in a broad 
range of literature issued by the American Mission Press, his 
tribute to the untiring and unstinted services of medical mission- 
aries in Syria, of whom the lamented Dr. George £. Post was 
such a brilliant example, all add a historical and personal value to 
this story of unwavering consecration in one of the difficult and 
faith-testing mission fields of the world. 

The record he gives of the sacrificial lives of eminent and de- 
vout men and women who have rendered noble service to 

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6 Introduction 

Christ's kingdom in Western Asia should be sacred to the modern 
Church. In these da)^ of phenomenal missionary advance, when 
converts in many fields are counted by the thousands, and when 
such elaborate and vigorous organized support is given to the 
cause of missions, there is much that is wholesome and instructive 
in the study of such a chapter as that upon ** The Seven Pioneers 
of the Syria Mission," which recounts the struggles and toils of 
those remarkable men who faced the difficulties and perils of 
those early days. Let us not forget or ignore amid the missionary 
successes of the present those *' nights of toil " which tried the 
faith and taxed the fortitude of the toilers. We are sure that 
Dr. Jessup's volume will meet with a sympathetic welcome among 
hosts of friends. That it will command also the attention of 
students of the East, as well as of that portion of the Christian 
public, now rapidly increasing, who are interested in missions, we 
have every reason to believe. 

James S. Dennis. 

In Aemotfam 

Since the above Introduction was written the chronicle of Dr. 
Jessup's busy and useful life has come to its final chapter. He 
died in Beirut, April 28, 1910. Many appreciative notices have 
appeared in the public press, and his death has been widely 
recognized as the passing of a loyal and consecrated soul to the 
realm of its higher service. It is a gratification to his friends 
that he lived to complete this, his final task, and also that be 
survived long enough to know something of the welcome ac- 
corded to his captivating volumes, and the sympathetic and ad- 
miring response they have awakened in many hearts. 

J.S. D. 

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Prefatory Note 

douXot d^ptlot ktriuv 
•• Unprofitable servants." — Luke 17 : 10 

ANOTHER book? and that an autobiography? An 
Arabic scholar recently died in Cairo who was a poet, 
granunarian and editor, and who painted his own por- 
trait by looking in a mirror. 

Through the importunity of many friends, some of them my 
children, and some in official position, I was persuaded to under- 
take a sketch of my life and times, especially my now fifty-three 
years of missionary service, and thus paint my own portrait. 
In an unthinking moment I consented, and during the past four 
years I have had to live over my whole life of seventy-seven 
years and my Syrian life of fifty-three years, until I am tired of 
my story and myself. A man true to himself can get little com- 
fort from unrolling the musty scroll of seventy-seven years in 
order to find out what he has been seeing, thinking, and doing 
all this time. 

My autobiography is one thing ; the history of the Syria Mis- 
sion is quite another. To weave the two into one tends to mag- 
nify the one and to minify the other. I have become weary of 
seeing and writing *' I" 

Having kept a pocket diary since 1855, and having copied all 
important letters in my letter copy-books of which I have thirty 
volumes of 500 pages each, the tax on my memory has not been 
so severe as on that man about whom our good Mr* Calhoun 
used to telL A bachelor storekeeper, who wrote out all his ac- 
counts on the painted doors and window casements of his house, 
married a tidy woman who soon put his house in order. One 
day he came home, looked around him, and in dismay exclaimed, 
" Wife, you have ruined me I " " Why? " she inquired. " Be- 


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8 Prcfetory Note 

cause all my accounts were written on these doors and you have 
washed them off." After a moment she asked, "Don't you 
think you can recall them ? " He replied, " Til try." After a 
few days she asked him, " How have you succeeded ?" He re- 
plied, " Fairly well ; I have not got so much written but it is 
charged to better mea! " That is the danger where one has to 
depend on mere memory. One may not recall as much, but he 
may put things in a better light than if he could refer to a 
record of the facts. 

Once in Montrose when I was a boy, a pile of lumber fell on 
Judge Isaac Post and knocked him unconscious. On recovering 
consciousness he said that when the beams struck him he recalled 
in an instant every event of his whole long life, and every word 
he had ever spoken. Thus the contact of this pile of literary 
lumber has caused me to relive my life in a very short time. 
And what a startling revelation it has been I and how many 
shortcomings it has revealed! How easy to see now how I 
might have done better, preached better, taught better, and lived 
nearer to my Lord and Saviour I " Not one good thing hath 
iiEuled of all the good things which Jehovah our God spake con- 
cerning us" (Josh. 23: 14). ''Remember all the way which 
Jehovah thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilder- 
ness, that He might humble thee to prove thee " (Deut 8 : 2). 

He has been faithful to His promise, '' with you always " and 
He has been with me in sunshine and shadow, in joy or sorrow, 
on land and sea, amid perils from robbers, perils temporal, and 
perils spiritual. 

I take no credit to myself for anything God has helped me to 
do or rather has done through me. 

How often I have felt humiliated by the fulsome laudation ex- 
pressed of foreign missionaries by friends in the home land, and 
I have longed for the time when all Christian workers at home 
and abroad shall stand on a level as disciples of a common Master 
and equally engaged in His service. A soldier sent to the Phil- 
ippines deserves no more credit than one on guard in the fort on 
Governor's Island. 

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Prcfetory Note 9 

I have tried to stick to my life-work. Tempted at various 
times to leave it and go home, or enter other fields of labour, I 
have tried to resist the tempter and to hold otL And God has 
helped me to hold on by giving me robust health, a happy home, 
and work enough to keep me firom idleness. 

It has well-nigh broken my heart at times to see young men 
entering on what seemed a life-work, obliged by failing health to 
drop their work, recross the sea to linger and die ** without the 
sight" And I have always urged new recruits in the Lord's 
foreign army to pray that they may have long life in His service. 

In writing the early history of the work in Syria I have had 
the goodly companionship of noble men, who stand out before 
my mind as men of consecration, earnestness, and unusual ability. 
I have tried to do them justice. Yet '' time would fail me " to 
give details of all their lives. In some cases such details cannot 
now be obtained. 

I cannot dose this preface without acknowledging my indebt- 
edness to my eldest daughter Anna. Her sympathy and en- 
couragement lightened the labour. Her discriminating intelligent 
judgment in selection of salient points of interest to be empha- 
sized — her industry in sifting the enormous mass of ** raw ma- 
terial,'* diaries, letters, manuscripts, addresses and prior published 
articles — ^her persuasions and her dissuasions — ^were alike an in- 
valuable aid.^ 

Henry Harris Jessup, 

Beirut, January /, igio. 

^Acknowledgment is made for photographs and plates to: 
Rev. Dr. James S. Dennis; The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Mis- 
sions ; The Thistees of the Syrian Protestant College ; The British Syrian 
Mission Committee in London ; William T. Van Dyck, M. D. ; Bonfils 
& Co., Beirut ; Messrs. Reiser & Binder, Cairo, Egypt ; Dr. Ira Harris 
and Rev. Dr. Nelson, of Tripoli; Rev. G. C. Doolittle, Sidon; Mr. E. 
BarOdi; Miss Anna H. Jessup; Dr. F. T. Moore ; Mr. Lucius Miller; 
The Lebanon Hospital for the Insane ; and largely to Messrs. Sarrafian, 
of Beirut. 

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I. The Prbparation — Thb Call to Service^ 

Sailing for Syria — 1832-1856 ... 15 

II. The Field in 1856 — Its Condition and Prob- 

lems 20 

III. The Seven Pioneers of Syria Mission Work . 31 

IV. The Arabic Bible — Its Translation and the 

Translators (1848-1865) .... 66 

V. Organization of a Native Evangbucal Church 

(1848) 79 

VI. Educational Foundation Stones ... 95 
VIL Life IN Tripou 112 

VIII. The Massacre Summer of i860 . . 157 

IX. Light After Darkness 215 

X. After THE Massacres 233 

XI. Further Growth (1862-1865) .... 241 

XII. Obstacles to Success 275 

XIII. The Syrian Protestant College . . 298 

XIV. Progress and Revival 307 

XV. Furloughs 363 

XVI. A Critical Year 373 

XVII. Antonius Yanni— a Sketch .... 386 

XVIII. Sundry Notes and Incidents .... 396 

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XXII. t 









NoTABLB Visitors and Converts . . . 405 

A Cholera Year 430 

Helps and Hindrances 467 

Mission Schools "****<» 508 

Sketches (1887) 526 

Three Years of Progress (1888) • . . 533 

Marking Time 572 

A New Century Dawns (1899-1900) . . 664 

The Whitening Fields (1901-1902) . . 695 

My Latest Furlough — ^Years 1903-1904 . 719 

Jubilee Times (1905-1907) .... 753 
What Shall the Harvest Be? — ^January 

1908-MAY 1909 781 

Appendices : 

I. Missionaries io Syria Mission from 18 19 to 

1908 797 

II. The History — Bibliography . . . 801 

III. American Medical Missionaries and Agencies 

in Syria Mission 802 

IV. List of Mission Schools of the Presbyterian 

Board of Foreign Missions in Beirut and 
Damascus, and in the Mutserfiyet of 
Lebanon 805 

V. Outline of the IHstory of the Syria Mission 

of the American Presbyterian Church and 
Contemporary Events, 18 20- 1900 • . 809 

VI. "Rgures," 1908- 1909 — Statistics of the 

Syria Mission 814 

VII. Statistics of the Syrian Protestant College 

fit>m 1866 to 1906 .... 819 
Index ...««•• 821 

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„ „ _ Facing page 

Henry H. Jessup ^itle 

Hon. and Mrs. William Jessup i 

Beirut 20 

The American Press 25 

Henry H. Jessup, 1855 ^o 

Dr. Jonas King ^g 

Buij Bird . • 42 

Early Missionaries • •• • •• • • •S' 

Drs. Anderson, Eddy and Thomson 57 

Dr. and Mrs. Bird — Dr. and Mrs. Goodell 65 

The Arabic Bible 'jS 

Churches and Scenes 95 

J. £. Ford, S. H. Calhoun, J. H. Lyons 10 1 

Statue of Dr. Bliss — ^Tomb of Dr. Van Dyck . . . .111 

Rural Scenes in Lebanon 116 

Bridge and Water Wheels over the Orontes 1 20 

The Kadisha River .124 

The Cedars of Lebanon 139 

The Town of Zahleh 1 59 

American Mission, — Beirut, Syria 165 

Hasbeiya 178 

Abd el Kadir, Sir W. Muir, B. Bistany, Dr. Meshaka . . . 202 

Governors of Lebanon 211 

Beirut 223 

Pine Grove South of Beirut 240 

Beirut Native Evangelical Benevolent Society with Signatures . • 243 

S3rrian Protestant Group, 1863 266 

Beirut, City, Bay and Mount Lebanon 274 

Jisr el Khardeli over the Litany 293 

Pliny Rsk Hall, Syrian Protestant College 304 

Panorama of the College 306 

House and Yard of Lebanon Peasant 320 

Geo. E. Post, J. S. Dennis, S. Jessup, Wm. Thomson, Rev. and 

Mrs. Hurter, Mrs. S. Jessup 338 

Churches and Schools 359 

Drt. Dickson, Jessup and Hatfield, Dr. Bliss and Mr. Bird • • 363 

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Appeal published whin tbi Foreign Board 
suffered from a heavy debt 

Tell it not among the Heathen, that the ship is on a reef; 

It was freighted with Salvation, our " Captain," Lord and Chief— 

But the tide at length receded, and left it high and dry. 

The tide of gold and silver, the gifts of low and high ; 

The eagles and the dollars, the nickels and the dimes. 

Flowed of in other channels, from the hardness of the times. 

Tell it not among the Heathen, that the train is of the track ; 

The oil all gone — a heated box — the signal come to slack ; 

The Foreign Board is side-tracked with its passengers and freight ; 

Its messengers of mercy, though so eager, all must wait. 

The oil was once abundant, and the wheels went smoothly on— 

But drop by drop it lessened, and now 'tis wholly gone. 

Tell it not among the Heathen, that the stream has ceased to flow, 

Down from the lofty mountains in rain and dew and snow. 

It flowed in floods and rivers, in rivulets and rills. 

It gladdened plains and mountains, the distant lakes and hilb. 

But now 'tis dry ! The thirsty ones, they cannot drink as yet. 

For the Foreign Board is threatened with a paralyzing debt f 

Tell it not among the Heathen, tell it not among the Jews ! 
Tell it not among the Moslems, this melancholy news ; 
Lest sons of Gath deride us, and tell it to our shame 
That Churches sworn to true and full allegiance to His Name 
No longer do His bidding, no longer heed the cry 
Of millions, who in sadness, must now be left to die ! 

Tell it not among the Heathen, but tell it to your Lord. 

Drop on your knees, ye Christians,. and speak the truthful word ; 

** We thought we gave our all to Thee, but now, with breaking heart, 

We see that in our giving, we had kept back a part. 

So with complete surrender, we give our all to Thee." 

Then toll it to the heathen, that the Church of Christ is free. 

That the tide of love is rising to float the ship again. 

That the oil of Grace is flowing to start the stranded train. 

That the rivulets of mercy are nsing to a flood. 

For a blessing to the nadons, and the Glory of our God ! 


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Fifty-Three Years in Syria 

The Preparation — ^The Call to Service—Sailing 
for Syria — 1 832-1 856 

IN preparing my reminiscences of my missionary life of fifty- 
three years in Syria, I wrote out at some length the account 
of my boyhood days, the happy recollections of my father's 
and mother's lives and characters, and the influences that in 
school, college and seminary shaped my life purpose. 

These, however, are of an intimate character, personal in their 
interest to my children and grandchildren, not wholly appropriate 
to a history of missionary endeavour. 

Suffice it here to preface my history of my life in Syria by a 
brief sketch. 

My father, Hon. William Jessup, LL. D., was born at South- 
ampton, L. I., June 21, 1797, and my mother, Amanda Harris, 
at North Sea, near Southampton, August 8, 1798. 

My father graduated from Yale in 181 5, and shortly afterwards 
emigrated to Montrose in northeastern Pennsylvania, where I 
was bom April 19, 1832, being the sixth of eleven children, ten 
of whom grew to adult years. Montrose was then a mere 
" clearing " in the unbroken forest extending from Newburgh on 
the Hudson to Lake Erie; and my parents went by sloop to 
Newburgh, thence by wagon. He borrowed ^50 to start on, and 
taught school until he had qualified for admission to the bar. 

The Jessup family (also spelled Jessop, Jessoppe and Jesup), 
emigrated from the vicinity of Sheffield, England. John was the 
first to come over, and Professor Jesup, of Dartmouth, has writ- 
ten the genealogy of the different branches. 

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i6 The Preparation 

My dear friend Morris K. Jesup was the shining culmination 
of the Connecticut branch. When, many years ago, he joined 
the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, he still spelled his name 
with two s's. 

My father was chairman of the platform committee of the 
Chicago Republican Convention which nominated Abraham 
Lincoln, and that platform, which he read to that body, was 
largely the result of his wise and patriotic labours. A fellow 
delegate wrote to the New York Mail^ years afterwards, his record 
of the venerable Judge, in the hotel bedroom they shared, kneel- 
ing in prayer the night before the platform was read, and com- 
mending it " to the God who would judge of its uprightness and 
was alone able to give it success." 

My father's interest and activity in the work of the Presbyte- 
rian Church, his service in the General Assembly, hi^ successful 
defense of Albert Barnes in 1837, his unswerving adherence to 
the cause of temperance, his unselfish acquiescence in my deter- 
mination to become a foreign missionary, are all matters of record 

I date my decision to be a foreign missionary in the summer 
of 1852. 

I had conducted the Missionary Concert at the dear church in 
Montrose. I gave the missionary news and appealed to the peo- 
ple to support the work or to go in person to do it. 

I then realized the incongruity of asking others to do what I 
was not yet willing to do myself. 

But on the day of prayer for colleges, February 24, 1853, at 
Union Seminary, my impulse was crystallized into purpose, and 
in March my chum, Lorenzo Lyons, and I decided to oflfer our- 
selves to foreign mission work. I cannot here dwell on the de- 
tails of that decision, the conference with my dear parents, their 
sympathy and Christian self-denial. But from that day my choice 
was made, and my preparations all directed to making m}^elf 
available and useful. I attended medical lectures in the Crosby 
Street Medical School ; " walked" the New York Hospital with 
my cousin, Dr. Mulford, for two months, to learn << first aid " to 

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The Call to Service 17 

the sick and wounded ; I studied practical dentistry under Drs. 
Dunning and Dalrymple— engaged in tract distribution for the 
City Tract Society, experiencing rude rebuils and learning wis- 
dom thereby, and also finding how welcome the gospel message 
ever is, even in the most unUkely quarters. 

June 16, 1854, at a conference with Dr. Rufus Anderson, at 
the Missionary House of the American Board, at 33 Pemberton 
Square, I read a letter signed by Dr. Eli Smith, Dr. William M. 
Thomson, and Rev. D. M. Wilson, pleading for a reinforcement 
of five men, to occupy Antioch, Hums and Northern Syria. 

The appeal seemed to be the definite voice I had been waiting 
for. I made my decision and agreed to go to Syria. 

[August 12, 1854, my brother Samuel, twenty months my 
junior, decided to give up his mercantile business and to begin 
study for the gospel ministry and missionary work. He entered 
Yale, thence going to Union Seminary, served as chaplain in 
McClellan's army until the battle of Malvern Hills, and came to 
Syria with his wife in February, 1863.] 

During my course at the seminary I gave myself to home mis- 
sionary work around my home in Pennsylvania and, in New York 
City, at Blackwell's Island, the Five Points, the Half-Orphan 
Asylum, and in Sunday-school work. 

On the 23d of December of that year, I became engaged to be 
married to Miss Caroline Bush, daughter of Wynans Bush, M. D., 
of Branchport, Yates County, New York. She was an expe- 
rienced teacher, in perfect sympathy with my life purpose. 

On the 27th of October, 1855, 1 attended the morning mis- 
sionary prayer-meeting at Union Theological Seminary, and met 
some of the beloved brethren who were expecting to go abroad : 
Harding (India), White (Asia Minor), Byington (Bulgaria), and 
Kalopothakes (Athens). 

The next day I spent in Newark, N. J., in the church of that 
scholarly and saintly man, Rev. J. F. Steams, D. D. I preached 
in the church, addressed the Sunday-school, and promised to 
write to the scholars, if they would first write me. I also pro- 
posed to them, that, if they felt inclined on reaching home, tiiey 

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i8 The Preparation 

should write a resolution as follows : '' Resolved, that if the 
Lord will give me grace, I will be a missionary." One little boy, 
James S. Dennis, did write such a resolution, as I learned thirteen 
years afterwards, September 23, 1868, when I went to Newark to 
give the charge at his ordination, and was a guest in his house. 
Mrs. Dennis told me that in October, 1855, her son Jimmy came 
home from hearing me speak, went to his room, and soon after 
brought her a written resolution : << Resolved, that if God will 
give me grace, I will be a missionary." She said to him, ** James^ 
you are too young to know what you will be." " Yes," he said, 
*• I did not say, I wi/l be, but, • if God gives me grace, I will be.' " 
<' And now, to-day, you are to give him his ordination charge as 
a missionary to Syria ! " 

Surely, the Lord must have inspired me to make that suggestion 
when I did, for Dr. Dennis has done more for the cause of foreign 
missions than almost any other living man. We have always 
been dear and intimate friends, and in Syria, where he laboured 
for twenty-three years, he is beloved by all who knew him. His 
Arabic works, " Christian Theology " (two vols., oct.), " Evidences 
of Christianity " (one vol., oct), " Scripture Interpretation " (one 
vol., oct), are classics in Arabic theological literature ; and his 
three Volumes of '* Christian Missions and Social Progress," with 
his " Centennial Survey," form an epochal work and an acknowl- 
edged authority in all Christian lands. 

I was ordained November i, 1855. My chief memory of that 
occasion is my father's address expressing his joy that a beloved 
son was called to participate in the trials and self-denials of the 
«* grand enterprise " of the missionary work. One thing he said, 
that, when he stood before the altar of his God years before, he 
had consecrated all his children to God ; nor would be wish to 
keep back part of the price, nor take back now aught of what he 
then had given. 

December 12, 1855^-*' His Word was in my heart as a burning 
fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I 
could not stay " (Jer. 20 : 9). 

I was in Boston, about to sail. I had parted with the dear 

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Sailing for Syria 19 

woman who was to be my wife. Her health necessitated the 
postponement of our marriage, and her immediate companionship 
in my, missionary life. My father and mother were with me to 
see my departure on the following day, and the precious season 
of prayer, in the Tremont House, comforted our hearts, and has 
been in memory a source of solace and strength ever since, par- 
ticularly when I myself have had to part from my own dear chil- 
dren for years of separation, as from time to time they have had 
to leave us for their education in the home country* 

The sailing bark Sultana, three hundred tons, with a cargo of 
New England rum, sailed for Smyrna the next day in a storm of 
snow and sleet. There were eight missionaries on board : Rev. 
Daniel Bliss and his wife, Rev. G. A. Pollard and his wife. Miss 
Mary E. Tenny and Miss Sarah E. West, Rev. Tillman C. Trow- 
bridge, and myself. 

It was a stormy, wretched voyage. My brother Samuel was 
the first missionary of the A. B. C. F. M. to cross the Atlantic 
comfortably in a steamer. 

We reached Smyrna, January 22, 1856, and sailed on the 29th 
on the French steamer for Beirut, passing Patmos, Rhodes, 
Adalia, stopping at Mersine, near Tarsus, and at Alexandretta, 
Latakia and Tripoli, and landed in Beirut Thursday morning, 
February 7, 1856. 

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The Field in 1856 — Its Condition and Problems 

« The almond tree shall blossom."— ^^^/. 12 .-5 

ON the 7th of February, 1856, when we landed in Beirut, 
the almond trees were in bloom ; their snow-white 
domes in full blossom were fragrant and full of promise 
of abundant fruit : 

" The silvery almond (lower 
That blooms on a leafless bough/' 

was a token for good. Flowers promise fruit And now, 
February, 1909, fifty- three years have passed. The almond snow- 
white blossoms have now drifted from the trees to the heads of 
the two youthful missionaries who landed in 1856. We area 
pair of hoary heads. We see those flowers all around us and 
over us. They give promise of fruit — of something better be- 
yond. The inspiration is renewed. God grant that we may 
" bring forth fruit in old age " (Ps. 92 : 14). 

February 7, 1856 — Malta, Smyrna, Cilicia, Seleucia, Beirut I 
Names associated with the voyages and labours of Paul the 
Apostle, and not less connected with the modern missionary work 
in the Levant. The first missionaries made Malta their first base 
of operations, then advanced to Smyrna, and then down the 
coast to Beirut. We have followed their track and have now 
begun to " enter into " their labours. 

Here I am in Western Asia, land of the patriarchs, prophets 
and apostles. Yonder to the south are 

" Those fields 
Over whose acres walked those blessed feet 
Which eighteen centuries ago were nailed 
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.'' 

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As it looked In 1856, before the historic castle was removed to make way 

for the railway and the port. 


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On the Threshold 21 

That bright sunny spring morning of our landing in Beirut I can 
never forget The lofty summits of the Lebanon range, Suiinin and 
Kaniseh, 8,000 and 6,000 feet high, were covered with snow, shi- 
ning like burnished silver, while the lower ranges were dotted with 
villages and the plain green and beautiful with trees and gardens* 
An Arab poet has said of Jebel Suiinin, that 

'< He bean winter upon his head, 
Spring upon his shoulders, 
Autumn in his bosom. 
While summer lies sleeping at his feet." 

What a change from the bleak blasts of wintry Boston in De- 
cember to the balmy breezes of beautiful Beirut in February, 
with its almond blossoms and wild flowers I 

And what a welcome we had 1 No sooner had our steamer 
anchored than we heard familiar voices in the saloon, and soon 
grasped the hands of my old townsman and chum, Rev. J. 
Lorenzo Lyons, who came out a year ago, and then of Rev. E. 
Aiken, a new missionary, and Mr. Hurter, the mission printer. 

As I stepped on the solid earth, and knew that here at length 
is my missionary field, my future home, the people whom I am to 
love, the noble missionary band, all of whom are faithful soldiers 
in their Master's service, and that on these mountain ranges of 
sunny and sn<Swy Lebanon the Gospel is yet to beam forth with 
more than its original power and glory ; that here are to be 
witnessed yet greater and greater triumphs of the Cross ; my soul 
thrilled with exultant joy, and I could say in truth, that this was 
one of the happiest days of my life. 

Yet, though nearer my work than ever before, I was stopped on 
the very threshold by the barrier of the Arabic language, and felt 
as one dumb ; with a message, yet unable to deliver it. But 
having come to preach in Arabic, I resolved, *« Preach in Arabic I 
will, by the help and grace of God 1 While I study the language, 
its hard gutturals and strange idioms, I can study the people and 
learn their ways, so diflerent from our Western ideas, and they 
0iay teach me some things a Westerner needs to know." 

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22 The Field in 1856 

We were soon introduced to the whole missionary circle, and at 
the annual meeting held not long after, on March 27th, the whole 
company met in Beirut, in the study of Dr. Eli Smith, below the 
present buildings of the British Syrian Mission. We five young 
recruits, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bliss, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Aiken 
and myself, were welcomed to their ranks. 

When I was first appointed to the Syrian Mission, the Board 
intended that I be stationed in Antioch. Fifty-three years have 
passed and I have never been in Antioch. There were present 
Dr. E. Smith, Messrs. J. A. Ford and Hurter of Beirut, Calhoun of 
Abeih, Dr. Thomson and Van Dyck of Sidon, Messrs. Bird of Deir 
el Komr, Benton of Bhamdoun, Eddy of Kefr Shima, Wilson of 
Hums, Lyons of Tripoli, Aiken, a new recruit, and D. Bliss and 
H. H. Jessup, the latest arrivals. We young men looked with deep 
interest on the faces of the veterans before us. Dr. William M. 
Thomson (1833) had been here twenty-three years. He was the 
picture of ruddy, robust health. When, in 1857, father went 
with me to the Manhattan Life Insurance Company, New York, 
to take out a policy on my life, the company demanded an extra 
climatic risk* I protested and referred them to Dr. Thomson 
then in New York, as a sample of the effects of the Syrian climate. 
The company soon removed the climatic risk. He was a man of 
such geniality and ready wit, so kindly and full of experience 
that my heart went out to him. For sixteen yea!:s, from i860 to 
1876, he was my associate in Beirut and he was both father and 
brother to me. At that first mission meeting we recognized the 
helpfulness of his clear head and wise counsels, when difficult 
questions arose. Next to him sat Dr. Eli Smith, pale, thin and 
scholarly, precise in language and of broad views of mission 
policy. He spoke of the Bible translation then in progress and 
reported that he had, up to that date, printed it as far as the end 
of Exodus in the Old Testament and Matthew sixteenth in the 
New Testament He was evidently struggling with deep-seated 
disease and was granted a special furlough for a summer trip to 
Constantinople and Trebizond, whither he went with Dr. H. G. O. 
Dwight, his old friend and fellow traveller. There was Simeon H. 

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Early Associates 23 

Calhoun, the <' Saint of Lebanon/' the principal of the Abeih 
Academy, and treasurer of the mission, in whose accounts not 
an error of a para could be found. He reported a memorial 
letter of the Board with regard to the death in November, 1855, of 
his colleague and brother beloved. Rev. Geo. B. Whiting, after 
twenty-five years of labour in Syria. Mr. Calhoun's voice in 
speaking or reading, and especially in prayer, was peculiarly deep, 
rich and tender. I knew him for twenty-five years in joy and 
sorrow, in peace and the horrors of the massacre summer, in 
his ideal home, in his lovely family, and in business relations, and 
I never met a wiser, saintlier or more lovable man. Whitfield 
could draw tears from his hearers by merely pronouncing the 
word '' Mesopotamia." Mr. Calhoun could win hearts by a look. 
And there were the slender form and classical face of Dr. 
Cornelius V. A. Van Dyck from Sidon, of few words, but of 
great wisdom, and evidently highly respected and esteemed by 
all his brethren. I have spoken fully of him in another chapter 
of this book. We little thought at that meeting that it was Dr. 
Smith's last meeting, and that in January, 1857, he would be 
called to a higher sphere, and Dr. Van Dyck be summoned within 
a year to take on his mantle, and complete his momentous work. 
And there was J. A. Ford of Beirut, a man of sterling worth, 
true as steel, a delightful preacher in Arabic, simple in his habits, 
a hearty, trusty friend, ready for any sacrifice in tiie service of his 
Master. He was then acting pastor of the Beirut Church. He 
had been in Aleppo for seven years. Of strong physical con- 
stitution, he seemed destined for a long missionary life, but, alas, 
fell victim, not to the Syrian climate, but to an Illinois blizzard in 
April, i860. 

And there was David M. Wilson, a plain, blunt man, and 
mighty in the Scriptures. He had come from his distant home 
in Hums, to plead for a colleague, and the mission, after full dis- 
cussion, appointed Mr. and Mrs. Aiken, new recruits, to go as 
companions to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and work in that promising 
field. How the events of those subsequent months rise in sad 
memory as I write I On April 23d, a little company left Beirut 

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24 The Field in 1856 

on the French steamer for Tripoli ; Mr. and Mrs. Lyons and child 
and I going to our new home in Tripoli ; Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, 
Mr. and Mrs. Aiken, accompanied by Mr. Calhoun, going on to 
Hums. Mrs. S. D. Aiken was daughter of Judge John O. Cole of 
Albany, the perfect picture of health and womanly beauty. Mr. 
Bliss was stationed in Abeih, as Mrs. Bliss appeared to be ex- 
tremely delicate in health, and the mission thought it wiser to 
send the young and robust Mrs. Aiken to be a companion of 
Mrs. Wilson in Hums, which was four days distant from any 
physician. But how little we know of our Father's plans for His 
children ! In less than two months, the lovely Mrs. Aiken was 
in her grave, in the court of a Moslem eiiendi's house in Hums. 
There was no Protestant cemetery and the effendi kindly con- 
sented to the temporary interment in his house then leased by Mr. 
Aiken. A year later, I visited that stricken home in Albany, 
and learned lessons of Christian resignation which I never forgot, 
and which helped me in my own hour of need, when, forty-four 
years afterwards, I followed to the grave in Sidon my own lovely 
daughter, Amy Erdman. The seemingly delicate Mrs. Bliss 
lives, surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grand- 
children. Another of that mission band was W. A. Benton, 
who came from the heights of Lebanon at Bhamdoun, and who 
was like a patriarch among the villagers. And then Dr. W. W. 
Eddy, equally at home with his pen in editing and translating, 
in church building and teaching theology. His handwriting 
was like steel engraving and his English style in sermon writing 
chaste and elegant. At that time, after three years in Aleppo, 
he was living with his family in the village of Kefr Shima, in 
accordance with Dr. R. Anderson's theory that each missionary 
should occupy a separate station. This theory the mission soon 
repudiated, believing that the highest health, efficiency and 
success of the missionary will be attained, by placing them two 
and two, to support each other. And it has not been found best 
to multiply foreign*manned stations. In September, 1857, he 
removed to Sidon, where he laboured for twenty-one years and 
then was transferred to Beirut to teach in the theological 

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S «5>» 


*ls .& 



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Beirut 25 

seminary in which he continued until his death, January 26, 
1900. The lay missionary, Mr. Geo. C. Hurter, mission printer, 
was a Swiss by birth, a faithful, self-denying man, hospitable, 
hearty, devout He managed the press employees well, and 
could conduct a prayer-meeting with profit to the ripest Christian 
and most learned scholar. His memory is blessed. 

On the day of our arrival, February 7th, I went down with Mr. 
Lyons to the mission press (Burj Bird), in the lower room of 
which was the chapel. We there saw an interesting sight, a 
convention of Protestant Syrians met to discuss their civil or- 
ganization. There were Butrus Bistany, Naameh Tabet, Elias 
Fuaz, Tannus El Haddad, T. Sabunjy, Hanna Shekkoor of 
Lebanon, Shaheen Barakat, Nasif er Raiees, Khalil Khuri, and 
Kozta Mejdelany of Hasbeiya, Abu Faour of Khiyam, Elias 
Yacob of Rasheiya el Fukkhar, Nasif Michail of Aitath, Saleh 
Bu Nusr of Abeih, Michaiel Araman, Rev. J. Wortabet, Jebbour 
Shemaun, Shaheen Sarkis, Asaad Shidoody, Khalid Tabet, 
Yusef Najm, Beshara Hashim, Girgius Jimmal and others. I 
shall speak more particularly of some of these remarkable men 
— ** immortal names, that were not born to die." 

Not long after our arrival, I was taken to the American print- 
ing-press and the old mission cemetery. There, at the foot of a 
tall cypress, tree, was a little plain, horizontal gravestone of moss- 
grown sandstone, and set into it a small slab of marble on which 
is the inscription, 

Pliny Fish, 

Died Oct. 23, 1823, 

Aged 31 years. 

More than thirty years ago was this precious seed sown in the 
soil of Syria, and a little cypress sapling was planted by his grave. 
His missionary life was short and he " died without the sight" 
i Beirut, in Fisk's day, was a little walled town 3,000 feet from 
north to south, and 1,500 feet from east to west, on the north 
shore of a cape, extending about five miles from the base of 
Lebanon into the Mediterranean. It had a population of 8,000, 
Mohammedans, Greeks, Maronites and a few Druses and Jews. 

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26 The Field in 1856 

Within the walls, the streets were narrow, crooked and dirty. 
There was no harbour, only an open roadstead, and boats landing 
from ships anchored outside would strike bottom before reaching 
the beach, and the passenger^, men and women, were then borne 
by brawny boatmen and dumped on the land. There was but 
one house which had glass windows and that belonged to the 
British consul, Mr. Abbott. A wheeled vehicle had not been 
seen since the days when chariots rolled over the Roman roads, 
eighteen centuries before, nor was there a road on which a wagon 
could run. The houses had flat roofs of cement, which cracked 
every summer, and the walls of porous sandstone absorbed the 
winter rains, which covered the inside with fungus and mould. 
Outside the town, the narrow lanes, about eight feet wide through 
the mulberry orchards, were overarched with the prickly pear or 
« subbire," whose leaves, fringed with long, needle-like spines, 
threatened the faces and eyes of the passers-by. The entire 
water-supply was from wells^ some sweet and some brackish, 
fdom which it is supposed the city Beer-ut took its name. Beirut 
so unimportant politically, that Saida (Sidon), twenty- five 
[iles to the south, gave name to the province. On the sea-wall 

ere lofty castles to protect the town against Greek pirates, and 
a fine tower, or Buij, eighty feet high, stood outside the south- 
east gate to protect it against land attacks. The only roads in 
the land were the rough, narrow, rocky mule paths, never re- 
paired and often impassable. The interior was little known, for 
the modern explorations of Edward Robinson, Eli Smith and 
William M. Thomson had not begun, and Palestine, the land of 
the Bible, was rarely visited. Steam communication was un- 
known, and barks and brigs, ships and schooners were the only 
sea-craft known along these old Phoenician shores. 

The only lights known were the ancient earthern lamps like 
bowls, with olive oil, and the wick hanging over the side. At 
night, all pedestrians in the cities were obUged to carry lanterns 
or be arrested. 

The terrible massacre of 20,000 of the Greek population of the 
Island of Scio (Chios) by the Turks had recently taken place in 

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Intellectual Stagnation 27 

1822, and the War of Grecian Independence had begun. Syria 
was in a state of semi-disorder. 

Intellectually, the land was in utter stagnation. With the ex- 
ception of the Koran and its literature among the Moslems, and 
the ecclesiastical books among the Oriental Christians^ there were 
no books. Many of the Moslems could read, but very few of the 
other sects could either read or write. The Moslems who have 
alwa3rs been devoted to their one book, had little " madrasehs " 
or schook, attached to the mosques, and the Oriental Christians 
taught a few boys who were in training for the priesthood. But 
it was in general true that there were in the land neither books, 
readers nor schools, as such. There was a little hand-press at a 
monastery near Shweir in Lebanon, for printing Romish prayer- 
books, but there were no printing-presses, no newspapers and no 
desire for them. The Oriental mind seemed asleep. If the 
" rest cure," which obliges the patient to lie prostrate for weeks 
in a state of mental vacuity and ph}rsical relaxation, often renews 
the mind and body, then the Syrian race, by their rest cure of 
ages, should have reached the acme of mental and physical prepa- 
ration for a new era of vigour and growth. 

One of the old missionaries wrote that ** the Syrian people are 
singularly unimpressionable on religious subjects, because they 
are so eminently religious already. Religious forms and language 
abound." The salutations, ejaculations and imprecations of the 
people are full of the name of God, Allah. The most sacred 
words and expressions are on the lips of all, the learned and the 
ignorant, men, women and children : nay, of the most vicious 
and abandoned. Whatever may be the subject, religion in some 
form or other has its share in it That which is most sacred 
becomes as familiar as household words and is as little regarded* 
As far as words are concerned they have religion enough. But 
they need to be taught the need of spiritual regeneration, and 
the reality of personal religious experience. 

The state of woman was pitiable in the extreme. The first 
missionaries could not hear of a woman or girl in the land who 
could read. Mohammedanism had blighted womanhood, and 

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28 The Field in 1856 

driven her behind the veil and into the hareem. Oriental Chris- 
tian women dared not appear unveiled in the streets for fear of 
vile abuse and even violence from the lords of the land. 

Moslems would not mention the name of woman in conversa- 
tion without begging pardon from all present, by using the 
abominable term ** ajellak Allah/' or may God exalt you above 
the contamination of so vile a subject. They would use the 
same term in speaking of a hog or a dog or a filthy shoe I By 
degrading woman the Moslems had degraded themselves and 
lowered the whole tone of society. No man calling at a Mo- 
hammedan house would ever see the face of a woman, nor would 
he dare ask after the health of the wife or mother, sister or daugh- 
ter. A young man never saw the face of his bride until after the 
marriage ceremony was over. Mutual acquaintance before mar- 
riage was not necessary and was impossible. 

Polygamy, the upas tree of Islamic society, had corrupted all 
moral ideas and despoiled the home of ever3rthing lovely and of 
good report. The Koran enjoined wife beating. In Sura IV, 
verse 38 of the Koran it is said, 

" Virtuous women are obedient . . . 
But chide those for whose refractoriness 
Ye have fcause to fear, — and scourge them,** 

And this injunction of their Koran they are not slow to obey. 
They have degraded woman and then scourge her for being de- 
graded. They have kept her in ignorance and then beat her for 
being ignorant. They have taught her all vileness and then beat 
her for being vile. The Oriental Christians, having been crushed 
under the Mohammedan domination for twelve centuries, had 
lost all hope of rising, and all ambition to better their condition. 
Numerically inferior, they could not rebel, and no hand from 
Christian lands was extended to protect or encourage them. The 
Christian sects were not allowed to ring bells, and in Damascus 
no Christian could ride on horseback or wear any colour but 
black. The other sects of the land were no better off " A 
deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them/* 

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What Can be Done? 29 

Fisk had lived two years in Syriai. He pitched his tent in 
front of this Gibraltar of false religion, ignorance and superstition, 
full of faitli that one day it would yield : but he died having seen 
but one convert, Asaad es Shidiak, the martyr of Lebanon, who 
followed him, in 1829, through the gates of torture and starva- 
tion, into the New Jerusalem. Fisk was buried some two hun- 
dred yards outside the city wall, beyond the Bab Yakob, in a 
plot of ground bought by his colleague, Rev. Isaac Bird. It was 
hardly thought safe at that time to live so far outside the walls. 

Isaac Bird, William Goodell and Dr. Jonas King took up the 
work. It seemed a forlorn hope, an impossible task. For that 
reason God sent men of faith to begin it. What were they to 
do ? Where to begin ? What plan of campaign m ust they adopt ? 

Dr. Worcester, Secretary of the American Board, in his fare- 
well instructions to Parsons and Fisk in November, 18 19, said: 
" From the heights of the Holy Land and from Zion, you will 
take an extended view of the wide-spread desolations and varie- 
gated scenes presenting themselves on every side to Christian 
sensibility: and will survey with earnest attention the various 
tribes and classes who dwell in that land, and in the surrounding 
countries. The two grand inquiries ever present to your minds 
will be, WAat good can be done f and by what means ? What 
can be done for Jews ? What for Mohammedans ? What for 
Christians ? What for the people of Palestine ? What for those 
in Egypt, in Syria, in Persia, in Armenia, in other countries to 
which your inquiries may be extended?" These instructions 
implied a work of exploration, investigation, analysis and prepa- 
ration. These being done, what then ? How could they give the 
Bible to a people unable to read? How open schools with 
neither school-books nor teachers? How preach without a 
mastery of the Arabic language? How could they expect to 
commend Christianity to Moslems who regarded Christianity as 
a picture-worshipping, saint-worshipping and idolatrous system 
full of Mariolatry and immorality, little better than themselves ? 
The government was hostile. Moslem sheikhs were hostile. 
Christian ecclesiastics, especially the Maronites and Latins, were 

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30 The FieW in 1856 

even more hostile against the " Bible men/' and cursed and ex« 
communicated them root and b]:anch. 

But young American disciples of Christ, who knew, by experi- 
ence, the length and breadth and height and depth of His love, 
were not to be deterred by any obstacles. " None of these things 
moved " them. Those were the days of darkness, but there was 
" light in the dwellings " and in the hearts of those young men 
and women, and those who came after them. The mustard seed 
which they brought with them, had in itself the germ of life and 
growth and expansive power. They came to lay again the old 
foundations, or to clear away the debris and rubbish of ages 
which had covered out of sight and out of mind the Rock, Christ 
Jesus. How well they and their successors did their work will 
appear in the pages of this volume. 

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The Seven Pioneers of Syria Mission Work 

THE question has often been asked me during my visits 
to America, " Were you and Dr. Bliss the first mission- 
aries to Syria ? " At times it has been hard to answer 
such a question with patience. In 1878 a good elder at the synod 
in Rock Island asked me if I was the son of Dr. Jessup of 
Syria? " No," said I, " there was none of my name there before 
me." " Well," said he, " I thought you must be eighty years old, 
for I have read of you ever since I was a child." I asked him, 
" How old zxtyau ? " He said, " About fifty years." I replied, 
•* And I am forty-six I " I can only account for this idea by the 
fact that in the providence of God I have had to visit the United 
States seven times during these forty-nine years, and as my health 
has been uniformly good, I have travelled thousands of miles and 
by rail visited hundreds of churches and Sunday-schools, and 
many colleges and theological seminaries, <' stirring up the peo- 
pie," and thus, in spite of m)rself, becoming known to multitudes. 

If one asks. Why did not you in your addresses give the peo* 
pie the early history of the Syria Mission ? I can only say that 
the pastors and people HLvrzys ask for facts as to Represent state 
of the work, and when one is allowed half an hour in a pulpit, 
twenty minutes in a synod and ten minutes at a general as- 
sembly, the only course is to give a brief, succinct account of 
the present state of your work and that of your colleagues. Un- 
embarrassed by moderator's gavel I would fain revive the memory 
of some of the saints, men and women, who wereHtit real pioneers 
in Syria and whose shoe latchets I am not worthy to unloose. 

While I have been introduced in America as ** the father and 
founder of the Syria Mission/' " the bishop of the Bible lands,'' 
** the president of the Syrian Protestant College," '< the manager 


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32 The Seven Pioneers 

of the American printing-press/' and as several other persons^ 
yet when introduced thus under false pretenses, I have generally 
let the minister have his own way, lest he lose caste with his peo- 
ple, for ignorance of missionary history, and hastened to use the 
brief time allotted in endeavouring to arouse interest in God's 
work for the Arab people of Syria. 

I. Levi Parsons, the Explorer 
Parsons was born July i8, 1 792, 'graduated at Middlebury, 1814, 
sailed November 3, 1 8 19, with Pliny Fisk as " missionaries to 
Western Asia, with reference to a permanent station at Jerusalem." 
They sailed in the bark Sally Ann, reached Malta December 23d, 
and remained until January 9, 1820. Rev. Mr. Jowett of the 
British and Foreign Bible Society gave them some excellent ad- 
vice : " Learn the modem Greek at Scio, — go in the character 
of literary gentlemen, make the circulation of the Bible the 
ostensible object of travelling, exercise in the morning, eat 
sparingly of fruit at first, dress warm, wear a turban when on the 
passage to Palestine, appear as much like common travellers as 

I have before me Mr. Parsons' journal in his own handwriting 
and it is full of religious meditation, new resolutions and morbid 
self-introspection. He was constantly struggling with indiges- 
tion, which naturally caused great depression. But his strong 
faith shines through it all with great beauty and power. They 
reached Smyrna January 14th, spent five months in Scio until 
October, studying modern Greek and Italian, and on December 
6th, Parsons sailed alone for Jerusalem, Fisk remaining in Smyrna, 
studying and acting as chaplain to the British Colony. He ar- 
rived in Jerusalem, February 17, 1 821, the first Protestant mis- 
sionary who entered that city to found a permanent mission. He 
remained until May 8th, being cordially received by the Greek 
clergy and especially by Procopius, secretary to the Greek 
patriarch, who was also the agent of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society. While there he sold and gave away •' ninety-nine 
Arabic Peters, forty-one Greek Testaments, two Persian Testa- 

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Levi Parsons 33 

mentSf seven Armenian Testaments, one Italian Testament, and 
twenty-three other books." The demand for Armenian Testa, 
ments was very great among the pilgrims. He also distributed 
3,000 tracts, chiefly Greek. He gave them to priests, bishops, 
andj>ilgrims. He was shocked that his friends among the Greek 
clergy should take part in the disgraceful farce of the Holy Fire. 
Yet he cherished the vain hope that the Greek Church ** would 
soon be consecrated entirely to the promotion of true piety among 
all classes of Christians, have the spirit of Peter on the day of 
Pentecost, and boldly open and allege the Scriptures and lead 
thousands by a blessing from above to cry, * Men and brethren, 
what shall we do ? ' If I am not greatly deceived, I behold even 
now the dawn of that glorious day i " 

He found a wide open door in Jerusalem for reading the 
Scriptures to pilgrims and regarded it as the most effective means 
of doing good at Jerusalem. He also adyised the sending of a 
missionary to the Armenians in Asia Minor. 

Leaving Jerusalem May 8, 182 1, he sailed to the Greek Islands, 
spent several months in Samos and Syra, and after many perils 
from pirate ships, both Greek and Turkish, reached Smyrna 
December 4th. Here he joined his beloved colleague Fisk, and 
January 9, 1822, they both sailed for Alexandria by medical ad- 
vice, arriving there January 14th. Here he found the malady 
with which he had long contended greatly aggravated. Diarrhcea 
rapidly reduced his strength. He was carried from the boat in a 
chair to his room. His journal shows a heavenly spirit, holy 
aspirations, devout meditations, clear views of Christ. 

February 10, 1822, at half-past three A. M.,he breathed his last, 
aged thirty years and five months. The day before, his conversa- 
tion was redolent of heaven. At evening, Fisk watched by his 
bed as he slept, and heard him saying in his sleep, " The good- 
ness of God — growth in grace — fulfillment of the promises — so God 
is all in heaven, and all on earth." At eleven o'clock Fisk bade 
him a loving good-night, wishing that God might put under- 
neath him the arms of everlasting mercy. He replied, "The 
angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him/' 

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34 The Seven Pioneers 

These were the last words he spoke on earth. Towards evening, 
he was buried in the yard of the Greek monastery where the few 
English residents bury their dead. I wrote recently to Alexan- 
dria to ascertain whether there is any trace of his grave in the 
Greek monastery, but learned that since that time the edifice has 
been rebuilt and the old cemetery obliterated. 

Pliny Fisk conducted the funeral service, which was attended 
by the entire English Colony, and Maltese merchants, some sixty 
or seventy in all. 

Fisk wrote : *' To me the stroke seems almost insupportable. 
Sometimes my heart rebels : and sometimes I hope it acquiesces 
in the will of God. I desire your prayers, that I may not faint 
when the Lord rebukes me." 

Dr. R. Anderson says of Parsons : *' His character was trans- 
parent and lovely. Few of those distinguished for piety leave a 
name so spotless. His disposition inspired confidence and gave 
him access to the most cultivated society. He united uncommon 
zeal with the meekness of wisdom. His consecration to the serv- 
ice of his Divine Master was entire." 

His two years of service were years of struggle with disease, 
incessant study, indefatigable labours in travelling, preaching and 
reading the New Testament to the people in Greek and Italian. 
His grave no man knoweth. 

II. Pliny Fisk, the Linguist and Preacher 
No name is more familiar to missionaries in Syria than that of 
Pliny Fisk. He was born June 24, 1792, was ordained in Salem, 
November 4, 181 8, and sailed with Parsons from Boston in the 
bark Sa/fy Ann, November 3, 1819. Touching at Malta, De- 
cember 23d, he reached Smyrna January 15, 1820. His mission- 
ary life covered six years. During this time he lived in Smyrna, 
Alexandria, Jerusalem, Aleppo, Tripoli and Beirut. He dis- 
tributed 4,000 copies of the sacred Scriptures, and parts of Scrip- 
tures, and 20,000 tracts. He travelled with Dr. Jonas King, the 
eccentric Dr. J. Wolflf, the many-sided Goodell, and the studious, 
hard-working Bird. His teacher was the scholarly poet-martyr. 

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Pliny Fisk 35 

Asaad es Shidiak, the first convert, and the proto-martyr of 
modem Syria. He could preach in Italian, Greek, and French, 
and had just begun a regular Arabic Sabbath service, and had 
nearly completed an English-Arabic dictionary, when he was 
called to his rest October 23, 1825, aged thirty-three years. 

Fisk was the pioneer missionary of Beirut, and it was a fitting 
tribute to his memory that one of the largest buildings of the 
Syrian Protestant College in Beirut should be named after him 
as the " Pliny Fisk Hall." 

He was appointed originally to Jerusalem, but never spent 
more than nine months there. He arrived in Beirut July 10, 1823^ 
where he spent two years and three months before his death, 
having spent the first three years in Smyrna and Alexandria. 
He was " in journeyings oft, in perils of robbers, in perils in the 
sea," and from war and pestilence. 

When he reached JaffsL, March 29, 1825, the town was full of 
rumours as to the object of his labours. He and Dr. Jonas King 
were reported to pay ten piastres (forty cents) a head for converts, 
and that these ten piastres were self-perpetuating, and always 
remained the same however much the convert expended. Others 
said the missionaries drew pictures of their converts, and if one 
went back to his old religion, they would shoot the picture, and 
the renegade would drop dead. A Moslem heard that they 
hired men to worship the devil, and said he would come and 
bring a hundred others with him. "What," said his friend, 
" would you worship the devil ? " " Yes," said he, " if I were 
paid for it." 

That idea of foreigners drawing pictures probably came from 
the habit of travellers to sketch the scenery and costumes of the 
East My colleague, Mr. Lyons, of Tripoli, made a tour in 
August, 1858, and camped in Zgharta, a Maronite village near 
Tripoli. The men were grossly insolent, entered the tent, sat on 
his table, sprawled on his bedstead and knocked things around in 
an ugly style. He said nothing, but, taking out a note-book, 
began to sketch them. One of them looked over his shoulder 
and, seeing a face and eyes, shrank back and bolted from the tent, 

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36 The Seven Pioneers 

yelling to the rest to follow him. Soon after, one of them came 
to the servant and said, ** Do entreat the Khowaja not to take our 
pictures or harm us. We will protect you. . Whatever you want 
we will bring, water, milk, chickens, eggs or barley for the ani- 
mals." The Khowaja did promise and soon all his wants were 

Mr. Fisk had a strong constitution but was often exposed to 
drenching rain and chilling winds when travelling. In October, 
1825, he was attacked by malignant fever and died October 23d, 
lamented by all who knew him. He " died without the sight'* 
Asaad-es-Shidiak was the only dbnvert to evangelical Christi- 
anity in Syria up to that time. 

In 1824, the year previous to his death, both he and Mr. Bird 
were arrested in Jerusalem by Musa Beg, sherif of the governor, 
and taken before the Kadi and to the governor, on the charge of 
wearing the white turban, and trading in unlawful books. The 
judge said, <' These books are neither Christian books, nor Mo- 
hammedan, nor Jewish, and contain fabulous stories that are 
profitable for nobody and which nobody of sense will read." 
The governor remarked, that ** The Latins had declared that our 
books were not Christian books." The two brethren were thrown 
into prison, and kept until the next day. Their rooms were 
searched and then locked, but finally, the governor finding that 
they were under English protection, released them, gave back 
their keys, charging them to sell no books to Moslems. 

One of the Greek priests in Jerusalem made to Mr. Fisk the 
astounding confession that they had in Jerusalem a hundred 
priests and monks, but among them all, not a single preacher. 

In February, 1824, a firman of the Sultan was issued through- 
out the empire, at papal instigation, strictly forbidding the distri- 
bution of the Scriptures, and commanding all who had received 
copies, to deliver them up to the public authorities to be burned. 
The copies remaining in the hands of the distributors were to be 
sequestered until they could be sent back to Europe. 

This firman was something new for the Turks. They cared 
nothing for the Bible, pro or con, but the minions of Rome had 

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Parsons and Fisk 37 

induced them to issue it, and it was never executed with any 
vigour. Rome is Rome in all ages, in her bitter hostility to the 
Word o( God. Mr. Fisk was an uncommon man. ** With a 
vigorous constitution and great capacity for labour, he possessed a 
discriminating judgment, an ardent spirit of enterprise, intrepidity, 
decision, perseverance, entire devotion to the service of his Master, 
facility in the acquisition of languages, and an equipoise of his 
faculties, which inade it easy to accommodate himself to times, 
places and companies." He was highly esteemed as a preacher 
before leaving home for Syria. And " who," said a weeping 
Arab, on hearing of his death, smiting on his breast, ** who will 
now present the Gospel to us ? I have heard no one explain 
God's Word like him." 

As to the results of the labours of Parsons and Fisk, we may 
say that, 

1. They did a remarkable ^ork of exploration. 

2. They brought to light the religious condition of these 
Bible lands. 

3. They met the leading men of all sects. Christian, Moslem 
and Jewish, and preached Christ to them frankly and openly. 

4. They distributed great numbers of Scriptures and religious 

5. They studied the climate and prevailing diseases, and urged 
the sending of medical missionaries.. 

6. They had no definite plan with regard to organizing a 
Native Evangelical Church, as there was but one convert, and he 
soon after suffered martyrdom. 

7. They were sent to found a permanent mission in Jerusa- 
lem, but the early death of both of them prevented the fulfillment 
of this plan. Parsons spent only three months there and Fisk 
nine months in all. 

8. The Arabic Bible which they distributed was that printed 
in London from a translation made by Sarkis er Rizzi, Maronite 
Bishop of Damascus in 1620, and printed in Rome in 1671. 
This version was printed by the British and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety, and circulated for many years by missionaries and Bible 

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38 The Seven Pioneers 

agents. But it was so full of errors, that a new translation 
became necessary. 

9. Fisk decided that Beirut was preferable to Jerusalem as 
the headquarters of a mission, in view of its climate, the character 
of the people, the proximity of Mount Lebanon as a summer re- 
treat, its accessibility, its communication with Europe, and the 
ease with which books could be sent from it to Damascus, and 
the cities of the coast. This decision to occupy Beirut, then a 
town of less than 5,000 population, was divinely directed. It 
has more than fulfilled the highest hopes of him who selected it 
and whose body rests in the cemetery in Beirut He rested from 
his labours and his works do follow him. 

10. These pioneer missionaries unmasked the batteries of the 
Oriental hierarchy. They were at first welcomed by priests and 
people of all sects, but when it became known that their object was 
the distribution of the Scriptures, and making God's Word the 
only guide and rule in religious belief, the Oriental hierarchies 
stirred up opposition and resorted to excommunication and Bible 
burning. It was evident that the chief priests and rulers of 
church, mosque, and synagogue in Bible lands, did not want the 

III. Jonas King, the Apostle of Modern Greece 
Jonas King was the third of the remarkable trio who began 
the work of giving the Bible to Bible lands. He served out his 
enlistment of three years in the Jerusalem Mission with his dear 
colleague Fisk, and then, soon after, began his work of forty-one 
years in Greece. 

He was born July 29, 1792, in Hawley, Massachusetts. His 
father was a Christian farmer. Under his instruction, Jonas read 
the Bible through once between the ages of four and six, and 
then once yearly to the age of sixteen. His conversion was at 
the age of fifteen. Without funds or aid, he determined on an 
education, learned the English grammar while hoeing corn, read 
the twelve books of Virgil's " iEneid " in fifty-eight days, and the 
New Testament, in Greek, in six weeks. He graduated at Will- 

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Beirut, 1822-1825. 

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Jonas King 39 

iams College in 1816, and Andover Seminary in 1819. Wishing 
to study Arabic with reference to future work in Persia or Arabia, 
he went to Paris to study with the famous De Sacy. Meantime, 
he was appointed Professor of Oriental Languages in Amherst 
College, the trustees approving his studying in Paris. While in 
Paris, he received a pressing invitation from Pliny Fisk to come 
to Syria in the place of the lamented Parsons. Mr. S. V. S. 
Wilder, then in Paris, agreed to pay |lioo a year for three years, 
and the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society made up the bal- 
ance ; and he went to Syria as really the missionary of the Paris 
Society. He travelled largely with Fisk in Egypt, Palestine and 
Syria, as far as Aleppo, becoming a good preacher and writer in 
Arabic His teacher in Deir el Komr was Asaad es Shidiak, the 
fine Arabic scholar and martyr. Dr. King was invited by some 
of the Oriental papal clergy to join the Church of Rome. He 
replied, in his famous " Farewell Letters," giving his strong rea- 
sons for being a Protestant, and rejecting the errors of Rome. 
This letter contained thirteen objections to accepting the invitation 
of a Jesuit priest, that he join the Church of Rome. It contained 
thirteen chapters, of which we give the headings : 

I. Because Christ, and not the Pope, is the head of the Church 
on earth. 

a. Because Rome requires celibacy of the clergy, contrary to Scrip- 

3. Because Christ is the only Mediator, and Rome has many ; the 
Vligin Mary, saints and angels. 

4. The Bible prohibits, and Rome allows, the worship of pictures 
and images. 

5. Purgatory is contrary to the Bible. 

6. Prayer to the saints is unscriptural. 

7. Rome forbids the communion cup to the laity. 

8. Rome uses unknown tongues in worship. 

9. Faith in the Pope is unscripturaL 

10. We are saved by the merits of Clirist alone and not by the 
merits of saints. 

II. Rome authorizes and approves persecution and extermination of 

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40 The Seven Pioneers 

FtotestantSy as in the Inquisition and St BardKdomew's day, 3O9O00 in 
one day. 

12. Rome forbids the Bible to the people. 

13. With the Bible open in my hands I cannot become a Romanist 
I wish you all to become true Christians. The name Protestant I care 
nothing for. 

Young Asaad es Shidiak corrected and polished the Arabic of 
Dr. King's farewell, entitled " Wedaat Yonas Keen/' and became 
so much interested in it that he determined to write a reply to it 

The result of this was his conversion to the evangelical faith. 
Then began a series of persecutions against him, incited by the 
Maronite patriarch, which ended in his being walled up in the 
convent of Kannobin, near the Cedars of Lebanon. He died from 
disease induced by the dreadful filth of his narrow cell, and the 
torments of those who visited the convent. A favourite custom 
of the passers-by was to jerk on a rope tied to his neck and 
passed through a hole in the door. Asaad's life, written by Rev. 
Isaac Bird, was published in 1864 by the American Tract 

In 1828 Dr. King went to Greece in charge of a ship-load of 
clothing and food for the sufferers from Turkish despotism. His 
distribution of food and clothing opened the way to preach Christ 
The people crowded to him, begging for Testaments. The Pres- 
ident of Greece favoured his work. In 1829 he married a Greek 
lady of influence, who became his efficient helper. He preachedi 
opened schools and distributed the Scriptures, under the auspices 
of the A. B. C. F. M. He had a life of trial and strenuous toil, 
persecuted, misrepresented, imprisoned, through the jealousy of 
the Greek hierarchy. When arrested and brought before the 
Areopagus, the highest court in Athens, on a charge of reviling 
the " mother of God," and the " holy images," the judge asked him 
if he had an3^hing to say. He replied, " Those things in my book 
with regard to Mary, transubstantiation, etc., I did not say, but 
the most brilliant luminaries of the Eastern Church, St Epipha- 
nius, St. Chrysostom, the great Basil, St Irenaeus, Clement and 

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Dr. King in Paris 41 

Eusebius Pamphylii, say ihem.'' He was condemned to be tried 
before a felon's court in Syra, but the trial never occurred. Fifty 
men conspired against his life. In 1847 the king advised him 
to leave as his life was in danger. In March, 185 1, he was ap- 
pointed United States consular agent. He was, even after that, 
imprisoned, threatened and persecuted. 

In 1863 he was anathematized by the Holy Synod of Athens. 
In his latter days he drew up a plan for the organization of a 
distinctively Protestant Greek Church, aided by his pupil, and my 
classmate. Dr. Kalopothakes. 

On November 6, 1867, when in Paris, en route for the United 
States, I called with my dear friend Rev. Edward Porter on Dr. 
King. The next day he called and brought me an invitation 
from Count Laborde to speak at a missionary meeting the next 
day in the Salle Evangelique, Rue Oratoire. We went at the ap- 
pointed hour, with that saintly lady, Mrs. Walter Baker. The 
meeting was held by the Paris Evangelical Society to greet Dr. 
King, their missionary to Palestine forty-two years ago. There 
were present Pasteurs Grandpierre, Fische, Pressense, M. de Cas- 
alis, Monod and others. After an address of welcome to Dr. 
King, he spoke in French, giving an account of Syria and Pales- 
tine in 1825. I then spoke in English, Pasteur Fische interpret- 
ing, of Syria in 1867, and all departments of the work, evangelistic, 
educational and publication. Dr. King was like a prince and 
patriarch among those noble French Protestant ministers and 
laymen. On my return to Syria, after reporting my visit to 
Paris and meeting Dr. King, and his early connection with the 
French Protestant Society, the Beirut Church and Sunday-school 
sent several contributions, as an act of gratitude to the Paris 
Evangelical Society for use in its work in South Africa through 
M. Coillard. We sent it as the " Jonas King memorial contribu- 
tion " for South Africa. 

In 1874 a neat evangelical church was erected in Athens. 
Dr. King passed away May 22, 1869, in his seventy-seventh year. 
He was a thorough linguist, having studied eleven languages and 
speaking five fluently. His original works, in Arabic, Greek and 

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42 The Seven Pioneers 

French were ten in number, some of them being widely read and 
translated into other tongues. 

He revised and carried through the press eleven others. He 
distributed 400,000 copies of Scriptures, Scripture portions, re- 
ligious books, tracts and school-books in Greece and Turkey. 
When in Paris in 1826 he bought a font of Armenian type !or 
the Malta Press, and in England a font of Arabic type for the 
same press. 

Dr. Anderson says, *' Dr. King has left his impress on the 
Greek nation. To him preeminently is it owing that the Scrip- 
tures, since 1831, have been so extensively used in the schook, 
and that in Greece the Word of God is not bound : also under 
God, the visible decline there of prejudice against evangelical 
truth and religious liberty." 

IV. Isaac Bird, thb Historian 
The early history of the Syria Mission 'needed a historiaiL 
Syria and Palestine were then a ''terra incognita/' and the 
American Church needed men of careful observation and facile 
pens, to report on what they saw and heard in the East The 
journals of Parsons, Fisk, King and Bird drew attention to the 
spiritual and intellectual needs of this people. Mr. Bird was a 
man of great powers of observation, a ready and accurate writer, 
and of methodical turn of mind. He left on record a history of 
'' Bible Work in Bible Lands," which is the best account of Uiose 
early days. 

Associated with Fisk, King and Goodell, he made numerous 
journeys, exploring Syria and Palestine. And when the whole 
missionary company retired to Malta on account of the Greek 
war in 1829, he visited the Barbary States of North Africa. In 
his journal published in the Missionary Herald, 1830, he gives an 
account of a tour in the Island of Jerba off the southern coast of 
Tunis, where, after a battle on the 12th of May, 1560, in which 
eighteen thousand Spanish soldiers were slain, their bones were 
gathered by the Moslems and built up with mortar into this 
grim trophy of their victory. He also gives descriptions of the 

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Built in 1833 by Rev. Isaac Bird. Photo taken in 1863. 

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Isaac Bird 


grand reservoir of ancient Carthage, consisting of seventeen 
cisterns side by side with vaulted roofe, and covering a space of 
four hundred and twenty feet by fifty-four, with a depth of 
twenty feet, which were filled by an aqueduct fifty miles in 
length from Mount Zguan. He had previously described the 
ruins of the ancient subterranean corn magazines of Tripoli 
mentioned by classic writers. 

Returning to Syria May i, 1850, he resumed his visits among 
the people. He had interviews with all classes, Moslems, 
Greeks, Maronites, Druses and Jews. He called on the higher 
ecclesiastics and tried to persuade them to reform their Churches 
and thus remove the stumbling-block of Mariolatry and creature 
worship which repelled the Moslems from Christianity. But, as 
he says, he found ** Ephraim joined to hid idols." They rejected 
all ideas of reform and began to denounce him as a '« Biblianus " 
and a " Rabshoon " (lord of the infernal world), terms which 
they had applied to Asaad es Shidiak, the martyr of Lebanon. 

Curse followed curse and excommunication followed threaten- 
ing, until it became difficult for any American to hire a house 
or buy the necessaries of life outside of Beirut The Maronite 
patriarch and the Maronite Emir Bushir ruled Lebanon with a 
rod of iron, and orders came from Rome to persecute, drive out 
and exterminate the accursed Angliz or English as all Protestants 
were called. 

Mr. Bird and his colleagues saw from the very outset that 
these idolatrous Oriental Churches were the great obstacle to 
giving the Gospel to the Mohammedans. The Moslems whom 
they met taunted them with worshipping pictures and images; 
and were greatly delighted to find out that they did not. Then 
they charged Christians with having three Gods, and the subject 
of the Trinity proved a real difficulty in the minds of men who 
insisted that they would not believe what they could not under- 
stand. Early in Mr. Bird's career he met the papal legate, 
Monsignor Gandolfi of Antoora. He was seventy-four years 
old and had lived in the country thirty- nine years. He had 
suf!ered greatly, had been assaulted and stabbed by Druses, 

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44 The Seven Pioneers 

deceived by Maronites and Catholics, and had lost all confidence 
in the people. His salary had not been enough to save him 
fron> poverty. He told Mr. Bird that he had always enjoyed the 
calls of English and American travellers, but, said he, ** This 
terra sancta, this land of holiness, has become a land of devils. 
It is no longer the blessed but the accursed land. I have had 
transactions with princes and people of various grades, with 
patriarchs, bishops, priests, monks and laymen, but not one man 
of integrity have I found among them all ! " This was a dama- 
ging indictment from the Pope's nuncio in Syria, and he evidently 
had come in contact with the class of men known throughout 
the East as masters of political intrigue and hypocrisy, viz., the 
Oriental ecclesiastics. Yet there can be no doubt that the 
Oriental Christians in general have been sadly demoralized by 
the confessional and priestly absolution. Ignatius Peter, Syrian 
Patriarch of Antioch, living in the Convent of Mar Efram in 
Lebanon, declared the Pope to be not merely Bishop of Rome, 
but " General Director and Head of the whole habitable world " I 
In 1825 Mr. Bird had a school with eighty-five pupils, all Arabs, 
and all boys but two. Three of the boys were Mohammedans. 
Three ecclesiastics of high standing in the Armenian Church 
at this time abandoned their errors and took a noble stand as 

In 1827 Mr. Bird took his family to Ehden near the Cedars 
of Lebanon, by advice of a foreign physician, on account of the 
illness of a child. They leased the house of Lattoof el Ashshi, a 
Maronite friend. This was too much for the patriarch, and he 
issued a " curse " against him and all his family. The language 
of the curse reminds one of the Spanish Inquisition. " They are 
accursed, let the curse envelop them as a robe and spread 
through all their members like oil, and break them in pieces like 
a potter's vessel : let the evil angel rule over them by day and 
by night ... let no one visit them or employ them or give 
them a salutation ... but let them be avoided as a putrid 
member and as hellish dragons." The result of this was a riot 
in the village, an attack by the mob on Sheikh Lattoof and his 

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Mr. Bird's Thirteen Letters 45 

family, and Mr. Bird's removal to another village, B' Whyta, under 
Mohammedan rule, where he had peace. 

On the return of the missionaries from Malta, in May, 1830, 
the entire Protestant community in the Turkish Empire came 
out in a shore boat to meet them. It consisted of three persons. 
That was indeed ** a day of small things." 

On his return from Malta in 1830, Mr. Bird with Mr. Goodell, 
purchased the plot of ground in Beirut now occupied by 
the church, press, Sunday-school, girls' boarding-school and 
cemetery. He also built a mission house, which was called 
Burj Bird. It was, at the time, the largest building outside the 
city walls, and the pasha, fearing he was building a fort, de- 
manded explanations. Bein|; satisfied, he let the work go on. 

In 1833, Mr. Bird wrote his famous "Thirteen Letters "in 
reply to the Maronite Bishop Butrus. They were printed in 
Arabic at the American Press in Malta, which was removed to 
Beirut in April of that year. 

The bishop had replied in print to Dr. King's "Farewell 
Letters," and as no rejoinder appeared, the Romish party gave 
out that the Protestants could not reply to it 

This occasioned Mr. Bird's " Thirteen Letters " on the follow- 
ing subjects : 




Papal Supremacy. 


Qcrical Celibacy. 




Image Worship. 




Worship of Saints and Angels. 


Transubstantiation and the Mass. 


Use of Unknown Tongues. 


Faith m the Pope. 



I a. 



Tradition and the Scriptures. 


Letter to Peter Paluchet, the Jesuit 

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46 The Seven Pioneers 

These letters were reprinted in Beirut in a neat volume and have 
been kept on hand up to this day. The book is based on the 
Bible and the testimony of the early fathers against the inno- 
vations of the papacy. It shows great research and is written in 
a candid and courteous spirit, and has been the means of en- 
lightening multitudes. The original in English is in the mission 
library in Beirut written in a beautiful hand, and ranks with 
Kirwan's Letters and Gavazzi's Lectures. It should be published 
in the English language. 

In 1835 Mr. Bird left for Smyrna on account of the health 
of Mrs. Bird and reached Boston October 15, 1836. 

He was afterwards professor in the theological seminary at 
Gilmanton, New Hampshire. Removing to Hartford, Connecticut, 
he taught a high school for many years. His son William, 
afterwards a missionary in Syria from 1853 to 1902, taught in 
this school, and had among his pupils Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. 

Mr. Bird died in Hartford in 1876, aged eighty-three years. 
His name will never be forgotten in Syria. He fought a good 
fight with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in 
high places. Two of his children and a granddaughter entered 
the missionary work: Mrs. Emily Van Lennep, Rev. William 
Bird, the beloved evangelist of Lebanon, and Miss Emily G. Bird. 

V. William Goodell, the Scholarly Saint 
Syria can claim William Goodell as one of her pioneers and 
benefactors. He spent five years and sixteen days in Syria. 
He was appointed to Jerusalem but never saw Jerusalem. He 
came to an Arabic-speaking land, but studied chiefly the Arme- 
nian and Turkish languages with Armenian ecclesiastics who 
had become Protestants, and thus prepared for his great work of 
translating the Bible into the Armeno-Turkish, i. e., the Turkish 
language with Armenian characters. He arrived in Beirut 
November 16, 1823, left for Malta May 2, 1828, and reached 
Constantinople, the scene of his life-work, June 9, 1 831, having 
been transferred to that post on account of his proficiency in the 
Turkish and Armenian languages. 

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William Goodell 


In many respects his character was unique. He seemed 
saturated with the Bible and Bible phraseology, so that it flowed 
naturally from his tongue and pen. His letter, entitled "The 
Missionary's Father/' is a gem of pure English and devout ex- 
pression, and has been perpetuated in tract form. His sense of 
humour was refreshing, bubbling over on all occasions, and 
sparkling even in the darkest hour of persecution and tribulation. 

His chum and loved colleague, Daniel Temple of Smyrna, was 
of a grave and serious temperament, looking on the dark side, 
while Goodell's buoyant spirits were always rejoicing in the sun- 
light. One day at Andover, while they were sitting in their 
room together Temple said to Goodellwith a heavy sigh {ab imo 
pectcri)^ '* Ah me ! I don't see how I shall ever get through the 
world I " " Why," replied Goodell, " did you ever hear of any- 
body who stuck £aist by the way ? " 

Just before they went abroad as missionaries, they were visiting 
together at the home of a hospitable lady in Salem, Mass., who 
said, after welcoming them, " Mr. Temple, take the rocking- 
chair." <* No, madam, if you please," said Mr. Temple, " I will 
take another. Missionaries must learn to do without the luxuries 
of life." " Well," said the lady, turning to Mr. Goodell, " you will 
take it." '* Oh, certainly," he replied ; " missionaries must learn to 
sit anywhere ! " 

Dr. Hamlin says of Mr. Goodell that he had substantially 
Puritan theology, Puritan saintliness and Puritan patriotism, and 
this saintliness was adorned with the most sparkling cheerfulness. 
His wit and mirthfulness made perpetual sunshine. When his 
colleague. Father Temple, reproved him, saying, " Brother 
Goodell, do you expect to enter heaven laughing ? " "I don't 
expect to go there crying," was his quick reply. His sagacity 
and judgment were remarkable, and it was owing largely to his 
good judgment, with that of his associates, Riggs, Schauffler, 
Dwight and Hamlin, that the Earl of Shaftesbury said in 1869, 
"I do not believe that in the whole history of missions, I 
do not believe that in the history of diplomacy, or in the his- 
tory of any negotiations carried on between man and man, we 

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48 The Seven Pioneers 

can find anything equal to the wisdom, the goodness and the 
pure evangelical truth, of the body of men who constitute the 

When in Beirut in 1826, during the Greco-Turkish war, Greek 
vessels of war cruised along the coast and attacked Beirut, the 
Pasha of Acre sent td Beirut a large detachment of Albanians 
and Bedawin to protect the city. As the Greeks who landed had 
evacuated the city, these troops began to plunder. A party of 
seven Bedawin attacked Mr. Goodell's house which was a quarter 
of a mile east of the city wall. They knocked at the street door 
at the foot of the stairs. Mr. Goodell opened the second story 
window at the head of the stairs, told them he was a European 
and warned them to desist But they cut down the door with 
their hatchets and rushed up-stairs. Some city Moslems rushed 
up after them and took their station at Mrs. Goodell's door, not 
aUowing a Bedawy to enter. As they passed with the plunder, 
Mr. Goodell and these friendly Moslems snatched from them all 
they could and threw it into the '<hareem" of Mrs. Goodell, 
which they dared not enter. At length Mr. Goodell reproached 
them severely and told them he had already sent word to the 
pasha, and that Mrs. Goodell's condition prevented their going to 
the mountains. The villains prayed that God would bless Mrs. 
Goodell and make her exceeding fruitful I Some of the rogues 
came a few days afterwards to inquire after her health and one 
came to ask for some tobacco in a pouch, which he said Mr. 
Goodell had stolen from him when he called the other day 1 A 
Greek artist made a painting of the house and pictured the 
Bedawin (according to Mr. Goodell's sketches at the time) in their 
striped ahbas. This picture was shown to the pasha by the 
British consul, Abbott, and he at once recognized the men and 
ordered them to be bastinadoed and full indemnification (^230) to 
be paid at once. 

In January, 1827, Dr. Goodell wrote of a delightful communion 
season. It was the day of the monthly concert of prayer, and 
the ingathering of the first-fruits : Dionysius Carabet, formerly 
Archbishop of Jerusalem, Gregory Wortabet, an Armenian priest 

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Dr. Goodell in 1862 49 

(whose distinguished and learned son, Rev. John Wortabet, M.D., 
died in a ripe old age in Beirut, I908)» and Mrs. Maria Abbott, 
wife of the English consul, born in Italy and formerly a Roman 

At the communion above mentioned, prayer was oflfered for 
" our beloved Asaad es Shidiak, who would have been with us 
were he not in bonds for the testimony of Jesus." Dr. Goodell 
wrote, " Oh, that this mission might henceforth be like ' the tree 
of life ' bearing twelve manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit 
every month ! " 

In 1862 Dr. and Mrs. Goodell visited Beirut, and remained two 
weeks. He preached twice in English and visited old friends. I 
went with him to the house in which the Bedawin attacked him, 
and we found the aged couple, who owned the house in 1826, still 
living in it, and they were rejoiced to see Dr. Goodell. He says 
in alluding to the visit, " One of our first visits was to the Protestant 
cemetery, a retired and pleasant spot, which I myself purchased 
of the sons of Heth for a possession of a burying-place 
thirty-seven years ago, in 1825. Here we stood by the 
graves of the well-known and beloved brethren, Fisk (who 
died at my house in Beirut), Smith and Whiting, whose memories 
are as fragrant as ever and whose works still follow thenu 
The changes that have taken place in Beirut are great, and 
those that have taken place on Mount Lebanon are still greater. 
The pride of Lebanon is broken, those high looks are brought 
low, and that terrible power which trampled upon all who thirsted 
for God or desired a knowledge of His ways, is cast down." Dr. 

* Being afterwards left a widow, she married, August 3, 1835, Rev. 
Dr. William M. Thomson, author of " The Land and the Book." One 
of her daughters, Eliza, married Mr. James Black, an English merchant, 
whose sterling integrity, high business principles and unflinching veracity 
gave him an influence for righteousness in Syria never surpassed The 
Mohammedans, when wishing to use an oath stronger than the oath 
" by the beard of Mohammed," would swear " by the word of Khowaja 
Black, the Englishman." Another daughter, Julia, married Rev. Dt. 
Van Dyck, translator of the Bible into Arabic. Another daughter, 
Miss Emilia Thomson, is the senior teacher in the Beirut Girls' School. 

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50 The Seven Pioneers 

Goodell refers to the prostration of the Maronite hierarchical 
power in the civil war and massacres of i860. 

He then says, " I was amazed at the amount of influence and 
confidence possessed by the missionaries. Their character is now 
known and respected, and their names, which were once odious to 
a proverb, are now held in honour." 

In 1863 his labours in the work of translating and revising the 
Holy Scriptures came to a close, in the completion of the final 
revision of the entire Bible in the Armeno-Turkish language. 
This work will now remain a monument to his accurate scholar- 
ship, his sound critical judgment, his lifelong perseverance and 
his Scriptural piety. Before leaving Constantinople he published 
forty-eight of his sermons in Turkish which he had preached to 
the pebple. They were afterwards translated into Bulgarian and 

Dr. Edward Prime, in his life of Goodell,* says, '< The trials of 
childhood and youth, his struggles into the work to which he was 
called ; perils by land and sea ; plundered by Arabs ; his life at- 
tempted by poison among the Turks ; living in the midst of the 
plague that killed a thousand and more daily, and flres that swept 
ofT every house but eight, where he dwelt : such is an outline of 
the life he has led, yet he is the same genial, pleasant, cheerful 
man that he was when he took the rocking-chair in Salem nearly 
a half century since." When he came to Beirut in 1862 he had 
strong hopes of being able to visit Jerusalem, but the movements 
of steamers prevented, and he said to me, ** I came from America 
in 1823, appointed to Jerusalem, but I never got there, and now 
I am disappointed again. It must be that the Board meant that 
I was bound for the heavenly Jerusalem, which I am sure of 
reaching in the Lord's good time." 

When he finished the final revision of the Armeno-Turkish 
Bible, he wrote to Dr. John Adams, his teacher at Andovcr, 
^ Thus have I been permitted to dig a well in this distant land at 
which millions may drink, or, as good Brother Temple would say, 
• to throw wide open the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem to 

» " Forty Years in the Turkish Empire," Carters, New York, 1876. 

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1. Rev. and Mrs. J. Edwards Ford. 2. Mrs. George E. Post 3. Rev. 
and Mrs. William Bird. 4. Rev. and Mrs. Eli Smith. 6. Rev. and Mrs. 
J. L. Lyons. 6. Rev. and Mrs. D. Bliss. 7. Dr. and Mrs. H. A. De Forest 

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Eli Smith ^i 

this immense population.' " In 185 1 he visited his native land, 
where, in two years, he travelled 25,000 miles, addressing more 
than 400 congregations in aid of foreign missions, besides meet- 
ing students of colleges, theological seminaries, and Sabbath and 
select schools. In 1853 he returned to Constantinople, having 
published his volume, " The Old and the New." Here he laboured 
until 1865, when at the age of seventy-three he requested a re- 
lease from the Board and returned to the United States. He con- 
tinued to preach until his death in 1867, at the age of seventy- 
five, at the residence of his son in Philadelphia. ** He was rarely 
gifted, full of genial humour, sanguine, simple, courageous, modest, 
above all, holy. He won hearts and moulded lives." 

My &ther heard him address the New School General Assembly 
in Washington, D. C, in May, 1852. I was teaching in the 
academy in Montrose at the time, and father came home full of 
missionary enthusiasm and admiration of the eloquence, the saint- 
liness and fascinating humour of this veteran missionary. The 
following winter, I heard him several times in the churches in 
New York and felt the same fascination. And now, at the age of 
seventy-seven, I am glad to pen this brief record of the works and 
the worth of this American pioneer in Syria. 

VI. Eu Smith, D. D., the Linguist and Translator of the 
Sacred Scriptures 

When God has a great work to be done. He raises up great 
men to do it. Western Asia needed the Bible in the languages 
of the people ; Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, Modern Greek, Bul- 
garian, Persian and Kurdish, and the Lord raised up and thrust 
forth into the field those brilliant scholars and remarkable lin- 
guists : Eli Smith, Elias Riggs, William Goodell, Justin Perkins, 
W. T. SchaufHer and Cornelius Van Dyck, who have prepared 
the Scriptures for more than 100,000,000 of men. One of these 
belonged to Persia, two to Syria, two to Constantinople, and one, 
Dr. Goodell, to both. 

I remember well my first interview with Dr. Eli Smith in the 
Susa house in Beirut. It was in February, 1856, the day after my 

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arrival. As I passed up the narrow stone staircase I saw in a 
niche in the wall a box of waste paper, which I learned consisted 
of proof-sheets of the Arabic Genesis. These were a curiosity to 
me, and he told me to take all I wanted. I did so, and sent them 
to my friends in America. He had just begun to print Genesis, 
after labouring eight years on Bible translation. He spoke very 
modestly about his work, and gave me some excellent advice 
about studying Arabic. He inquired warmly about his old class- 
mate and fellow explorer of Palestine, and my seminary professor. 
Dr. Edward Robinson, and was much amused when I told him 
that on account of Dr. Robinson's frequent allusions to the valleys 
of Sinai and Palestine as wadys, the seminary students called 
him Dr. Waddy I He asked me if I had seen in the papers Dr. 
Prime's account of his (Dr. P.'s) ride to the Dog River on a white, 
blooded Arab steed with curved neck, flowing mane, flashing 
eye and distended nostrils I *' And would you believe it, that was 
my old Whitey?" 

A few days after my arrival Mrs. Smith invited me to lunch, 
and at 2 p. m. Dr. Smith asked me if I would not like to take a 
walk. I gladly accepted, and we went out, I on foot and he on 
horseback. We soon entered on the great sand-dunes west of 
Beirut and I went wading and struggling through the light, deep, 
drifting sands about a mile to the Raushi or Pigeon Islands over- 
looking the sea, and then south another mile through still 
deeper sands to the sea beach, then up again over sand-hills and 
sandstone quarries, in the hot sun, and I reached home, after 
nearly two hours, drenched with perspiration and ready to give 
up exhausted. As we neared home. Dr. Smith told me that I 
could see that walking in Syria is not so easy as it seems, ke 
then explained that some years ago Dr. Anderson, of the 
A. B. C. F. M., visited Syria. He told the brethren one day 
that good Christians in New England disapproved of missionaries 
keeping horses, and, said he, '' I think you had better make your 
tours on foot." They acquiesced, and the next day proposed a 
visit to a mountain village some nine miles away. They all set 
ofi* boldly on foot, but after climbing stone ledges, and along 

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Eli Smith 53 

dizzy precipices, the Syrian sun pouring down upon their heads, 
they sat down to rest. They then set out again, over even a 
harder part of the road. Dr. Anderson was about exhausted, and 
at length said, ** Brethren, I should say on the whole, for such a 
journey as Ms, you would be justified in riding horses." They 
said, *' Exactly so, and we thought of it before we started, and 
we shall find horses awaiting our whole party just around the 
next turn in the road." The result was that the American Board 
after that time enjoined the Syrian missionaries to own horses 
and use them. The missionary had to buy his own horse, but 
the Board supplied the barley to feed him. 

Dr. Smith put me through that pedestrian ordeal in order to pre- 
vent my attempting to repeat it on a large scale in the future. And 
I have many times thanked him for it. I have known several stal- 
wart evangelists come to Syria, full of enthusiasm and desire to " en- 
dure hardness," and by exposure to the blazing sun in walking over 
mountains induce brain fever, and die after a few days in delirium. 

Dr. Smith had a delicate physical frame, was pale and highly 
intellectual in appearance, courteous and hospitable. It was evi- 
dent that he was struggling with some occult form of disease. 
The following summer he visited Trebizond, on the Black Sea, 
mth his old companion of 1829, Dr. D wight, but fatal disease had 
fastened upon him and he died of cancer of the pylorus, after 
much sufTering, on January 11, 1857. 

Eli Smith was born in Northford, Connecticut, September 13, 
1 801, graduated at Yale College in 1821 and after teaching two 
years in Greorgia, graduated at Andover in 1826. He was or- 
dained and sailed for Malta to take charge of the mission press 
May 23, 1826. In 1827 he came to Beirut to study Arabic, and 
in 1828, during the terrors of the Greco-Turkish War, left with 
Messrs. Bird, Goodell and their families for Malta. March, 1 829, he 
travelled through Greece with Rev. Dr. Anderson, and then with 
Rev. H. G. O. Dwight explored Armenia, Persia and Georgia, thus 
opening the way for the establishment of the Nestorian Mission at 
Oroomiah. Returning to America in 1 832,he published " Mission- 
ary Researches in Armenia " (2 vols., Boston, 1833) and a small 

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54 The Seven Pioneers 

volume of " Missionary Sermons and Addresses." In December, 
1833, he embarked for Beirut with Mrs. Smith (nee Sarah Lanman 
Huntington), whose bright missionary career was terminated by 
her death at Smyrna, September 30, 1836. Mrs. Smith com- 
menced, in 1834, soon after her arrival, a school for girls in 
Beirut, which was the first regular girls' school in Syria, and 
under her auspices was erected the first edifice ever built in the 
Turkish Empire for the education of girls. A memorial column 
in the churchyard in Beirut marks the site of that edifice, which 
was removed when the church was built in 1869. Dr. Smith 
visited Constantinople, in quest of the best models of Arabic 
calligraphy in preparation for his new font of Arabic type. He 
then proceeded to Egypt by authority of the Board of Missions, 
and accompanied Dr. Edward Robinson in his celebrated tour of 
research to Sinai, Palestine and Syria. " By his experience as an 
Oriental traveller, and his intimate knowledge of Arabic, he con- 
tributed largely to the accuracy, variety and value of the dis- 
coveries of Biblical geography, recorded in " Robinson's Biblical 
Researches." Dr. Robinson fully recognizes this in his volumes. 
Dr. Smith was worth more to him than a score of Oriental 
dragomen, many of whom are only too ready to show travellers 
what the travellers want to see. A famous savant of Europe, 
when at the Dead Sea, asked his dragoman, ** Is this place 
Sodom ? " '< Certainly," said the dragoman, anxious to please, 
and the discovery was recorded in the savant's note-book. But 
Dr. Smith, who was eyes, ears and tongue to Dr. Robinson, on 
reaching a supposed Scripture site, called the village sheikhs and 
shepherds, and said, " Will you please give me the names of all 
the hills, valleys, ruins, streams and rocks in this region ? " They 
then began, and Dr. Smith wrote them down in Arabic, and in 
this way many lost sites were discovered. One day north of 
Nazareth, a shepherd, in reply to a question as to the name of a 
low hill covered with pottery, came out with the word " Kana el 
Jalil" or Cana of Galilee, which satisfied both Dr. Robinson, 
Dr. Smith and afterwards Dn Thomson, that Kefr Kenna is not 
the site of Cana of Galilee. 

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Eli Smith i;^ 

After this tour he went to Europe, and in Leipsic superin- 
tended the casting by Tauchnitz of the most beautiful font of 
Arabic type the world had ever seen. In the mechanical prepa- 
rations for this noble achievement, he was greatly indebted to 
Mr. Homan Hallock, the missionary printer in Smyrna, whose 
ingenuity and inventive genius enabled him to cut the punches 
and matrices for the new, so-called, " American Arabic Type." 
The original written models of Arabic calligraphy, gathered from 
the best Moslem penmen in Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo, were 
lost in his shipwreck, but he afterwards replaced them at Con- 
stantinople to the number of two hundred : so varied, that the 
punches formed from them would make not far from a thousand 

An ordinary font of English type contains not more than one 
hundred separate types. A font of Arabic vowelled Arabic type 
contains about i,8oo separate types. Each letter has three forms, 
initial, medial and final, and each letter may have several different 
vowel points above or below it, and the types of the letters are 
grooved on the sides to admit of the insertion of the fine needle- 
like types of the minute vowels. 

After a visit to America, Dr. Smith returned to Beirut in June, 
1841, having married Miss Maria W. Chapin, of Rochester, New 
York, who died in about one year, July 27, 1842, leaving a son, 
Charles, now (1907) professor in Yale College, the alma mater of 
his father. After five years spent in preaching, travelling and 
dose study of the Semitic languages, he revisited the United States 
and returned January 12, 1847, having married Miss Henrietta S. 
Butler, sister of Dr. Butler, of Hartford, Connecticut. In his new 
reconstituted home in Beirut he now devoted his eneigies to the 
preparation of a new translation of the Bible into the Arabic 
language. He collected a library of the best critical books on 
the Semitic languages, and on the text of the Scriptures, in Eng- 
lish, French and Grerman, and laboured for eight years incessantly, 
aided by the famous Arabic scholar and poet. Sheikh Nasif el 
Yazigy, and Mr. Butrus el Bistany, a learned convert from the 
Maronite faith. He obtained from Dr. Mashaka, of Damascus, a 

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56 The Seven Pioneers 

treatise on Arab music, which he translated into English. It was 
published by the American Oriental Society in 1850. 

Dr. Smith was a man of great business capacity, giving atten- 
tion to the minutest details. For many years he read the proof- 
sheets of nearly every work that was printed at the mission press, 
and he bestowed much thought and labour upon the mechanical 
apparatus of that establishment. To him every pursuit was sub- 
sidiary to a faithful translation of the Word of God into the Arabic 
language. Yet he did not neglect the regular preaching of the 
Gospel, which he regarded as the first duty of every missionary, 
and having early become a fluent speaker in the Arabic, this was 
ever his delight It was said of him when I came to Syria, 
February, 1856, that Dr. Smith could not only read Arabic 
poetry, but could preach in such <* buseet " or simple Arabic that 
the women of the Lebanon villages could understand him. Yet he 
was disposed to question the practicability of translating children's 
hymns into simple and yet classical Arabic. We have, however, 
proved by experience that our most beautiful children's hymns have 
been put into beautiful and simple Arabic, quite intelligible to the 
children in the common schools. Dr. Smith published in Arabic 
a book on the " Office and Work of the Holy Spirit," " El Bab el 
Maftuah," which was a revelation to all speaking the Arabic 

In 1850 he had received the merited degree of D.D. from 
Williams College. 

Dr. Smith was familiar with the ancient classics, and with 
French, Italian, German, Turkish and Arabic. His ideal of per- 
fection was so high that it was difficult for him ever to be satisfied 
with his work. 

In April, 1890, 1 took my old Yale friend, Dr. Daniel C« Gil- 
man, of Johns Hopkins Universi^, through our mission premises, 
and as we entered that little upper room in the female seminary 
building, formerly the mission house, or " Burj Bird," where the 
Bible was translated into Arabic by Drs. Elr Smith and Van 
Dyck, he said, " Dr. Smith was a Yale man and we are Yale men. 
Why not put up a memorial tablet on the wall of this room 

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William M. Thomson 57 

commemorative of the great work of Bible translation done 
here ? " I replied, ^ The only objection is the want of funds to do 
it" " I will pay the expense," was the ready reply, and this 
tablet was prepared and set in the wall. 

VII. WiLUAM M. Thomson, D. D., Explorer and Author 
OF " The Land and the Book" 

As God raised up men in the West to give back the Bible to 
the East, so He chose among these men those who should illustrate 
the Bible to the West And there was divine wisdom in sending 
Thomson, Robinson and Eli Smith to explore the Holy Land, 
while still in its primitive state, before the irruption of Western 
customs, implements, dress and means of communication. Dr. 
Thomson was a born traveller. He loved the saddle and the tent, 
the open air exercise, the evening talks at the tent door with Arab 
sheikhs and villagers, the glorious sunrise and sunset effects of the 
S}nrian sky, the wild flowers and sweet odours of the fragrant 
herbs on the moors, the lofty mountains and dark ravines, the 
waving grain of early spring, the early and latter rains, the long 
rainless summer and the thunder and lightning of winter when 
«* the voice of the Lord breaketh the Cedars, yea the Lord 
breaketh the Cedars of Lebanon." 

Of a high poetical nature and brilliant descriptive powers, he 
seemed called of God to picture to the Christian world of the 
West the unchanged and unchanging witness of the land to the 
verity and veracity of the Book. 

Dr. William M. Thomson was born of godly ancestry in 
Springdale, Ohio, December 31, 1806, son of Rev. John Thomson, 
a Presbyterian minister. He graduated at Miami University, 
Oxford, Ohio, in 1829, and at Princeton Theological Seminary, 
under Dr. Alexander, in 1832. He arrived in Beirut, Syria, 
February 24, 1833, and thus was the eighth American missionary 
in Syria, two having died, and two removed from Syria before 
his arrivaL 

In April, 1834, he removed with his wife to Jerusalem. One 
month later, after seeing his family settled in his new home, he 

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58 The Seven Pioneers 

went to Jafia to attend to the forwarding of his goods. Gvil 
war then broke out in Palestine. The fellahin, from Hebron to 
Nazareth, rebelled against Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, and besieged 
Jerusalem. For two months a reign of terror prevailed in 
Jerusalem ; siege, war, several violent earthquakes, plague in Jaffit, 
pillage and murder in JerusaleuL Dr. Thomson was detained in 
Jaf& and was unaware that an infant son (now Prof. W. H. 
Thomson, M. D., of New York) had been bom to his wife. She 
was in circumstances indescribably terrifying, amidst the roar of 
cannon, falling walls, the shrieks of the neighbours, the terror of 
servants and constant expectation of massacre by the enraged 
mob of fellahin besiegers. After two months, Ali Mohammed 
having reached JafIa with 12,000 troops, and marched on Jeru- 
salem, Dr. Thomson followed the army and hastened to his wife. 
He found Mrs. Thomson nearly blind from ophthalmia, accom- 
panied with a high inflammatory fever, and twelve days after his 
arrival, exhausted by the trials of the previous sixty days, she fell 
asleep in Jesus and was at rest Her own letters written during 
the days of agony and suspense are a beautiful illustration of the 
sustaining power of Christian faith. Dr. Thomson removed to 
Beirut, in August, 1834, with his infant son. He was afterwards 
married to Mrs. Maria Abbott, widow of H. B. M. Consul 

In December, 1835, he opened a boys' boarding-school in 
Beirut Rev. Story Hebard joined him in this work in 1836 and 
continued it until 1840-41. On New Year's Day, 1837, a terrific 
earthquake devastated Syria and Palestine, especially the town of 
Tiberias, where 700 of a population of 2,500 perished, and Safed, 
where from 5,000 to 6,000 perished out of a population of 10,000. 
Dr. Thomson and Mr. Caiman, English missionary to the Jews, 
were sent as a deputation by the people of Beirut to carry relief 
to the suflerers : and his reports as published, giving a graphic 
account of the dreadful and heartrending scenes at Safed, the 
horrible wounds, the mangled bodies of the dead, the groans of 
the hundreds of victims still alive and half buried under the ruins, 
sent a .thrill throughout the Christian world. They built a 

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William M. Thomson 59 

temporary hospital, distributed money and food, and relieved the 
suffering Jews, Moslems and Greeks as far as it was possible to do. 
The survivors seemed paralyzed. One Jew refused to aid in ex- 
tricating his wounded brother from under a pile of stones, unless 
paid for it I Spiritual comfort seemed out of the question, for it 
was the testimony of Dr. Thomson on this as on other similar oc- 
casions, that great overwhelming calamities seem to harden rather 
than soften the hearts of men. Dr. Thomson wrote,'' There is no 
flesh in the stony heart of man. No man would work to help us, 
except for enormous wages. Not a Jew, Christian or Turk lifted 
a hand to help us except for high wages.'' 

In 1835, the same year in which the first building erected for 
female education in Syria was built, at the expense of Mrs. 
Todd (an English lady from Alexandria), in Beirut for Mrs. EO 
Smith, on the lot in front of the present church, a seminary for 
boys was commenced in Beirut, by Dr. Thomson, in which work 
he was afterwards assisted by Mr. Hebard. English was taught, 
and some of their pupils have since been prominent men in Syria. 

In May, 1840, in company with Mr. Beadle and Dr. Van Dyck 
he made an exploration of Northern Syria. In one of his letters 
his description of a sunrise in the desert is a masterpiece of 
brilliant imaginative writing. This description was printed in 
the Missionary Herald and reached the Sandwich Islands, where 
one of the missionaries cut up the whole passage into elegant 
Miltonian blank verse, without altering a word. Indeed his 
journals printed at length in the Missionary Herald were eagerly 
read and universally admired. 

On the 14th of August, 1841, the English fleet under Sir 
Charles Napier arrived in Beirut harbour to drive Ibrahim Pasha 
out of Syria. The combined English (twenty-one vessels), Aus- 
trian (six) and Turkish fl'-.^J^s (twenty-four Turkish transports) an- 
chored off* Beirut, b^i^ in all a fleet of fifty-one sail. The 
United States corvette, Cyane, Captain Latimer, took on board 
all the missionaries and landed them safely in Larnaca, Cyprus. 
The bombardment began and continued while the Cyane was still 
at anchor, and kept on for a month when Soleyman Pasha 

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evacuated the city. In October, the missionaries returned, ex- 
pecting to find the mission house in ruins. But on the contrary, 
although the ground on the mission premises was ploughed by 
cannon-balls, and two bombs had burst in the yard, the house and 
printing-press were uninjured I The library, the costly apparatus 
for the boys' seminary, the invaluable manuscripts and books, 
and the large folio volumes of the Christian fathers, remained 
safe just as when the missionaries left them. 

Soon after, Ibrahim Pasha was driven back to Egypt, and 
Syria and Palestine were restored to Turkish rule. But for the in- 
terference of England, the Egyptian dynasty would have subdued 
the whole Turkish Empire. While Ibrahim Pasha was in Syria 
there was universal security and a better government than had been 
known for centuries. On his departure, things returned to their old 
course. Again in the Crimean War, England saved the Turkish 
Empire from destruction. It did the same at the close of the 
Bulgarian War, after the treaty of St. Stephano. And it may be 
said that in 1861, by insisting on the evacuation of Syria by the 
French army of occupation, it again saved Syria to the Turk. 
And yet the Turks do not love the English ! 

In 1 841, war broke out between the Druses and the Maronites. 
Many refugees were fed and clothed by the missionaries. 

In 1843, Dr. Thomson and Dr. Van Dyck removed to the vil- 
lage of Abeih in Mount Lebanon, and carried on the boys' semi- 
nary, now transferred from Beirut. They continued teaching and 
preaching until they were stationed in Sidon in 1851. 

July 18, 1843, Dr. Thomson went to Hasbeiya where 150 men 
had declared themselves Protestants, and on August ist, the en- 
tire body left for Abeih to escape attack by armed men from 
Zahleh and the region of Hermon, but they returned in the &11, 
the fury of their foes being exhausted. 

One day Dr. Thomson and two cfeflKlims went up the side of 
Hermon to the solitary lodge of a poor vine-dresser, who was 
deeply interested in spiritual things. He wrote of this visit, " It 
was good to be there on that mountainside, in the lodge beneath 
that olive tree, among those clustering vines, with that old man 

Digitized by 


William M. Thomson 6i 

of humble mien and tearful eye, the voice of prayer ascending 
from full hearts to the canopy of heaven above our heads. Yes, 
it was good to be there. I crept forth from this humble lodge 
with eyes bedimmed with tears." 

In April, 1845, civil war broke out again in Lebanon, and a 
battle took place in Abeih. Dr. Thomson bore a white flag to 
tlie Druses' camp, and through his prompt action in securing the 
interference of the British consul-general in Beirut, a truce was 
agreed on and a general massacre of the unfortunate Maronites 
was prevented. 

Whereupon the Greek and Maronite bishops of Beirut ordered 
their people to protect the American missionaries. In Septem- 
ber the missionaries were ordered down from Abeih by Chekib 
EfTendi, the Turkish commissioner, and returned again in Decem- 

From this time on, during his residence in Abeih and Sidon 
(to which place he removed in 1851) until 1857, Dr. Thomson 
was engaged in making extended missionary tours in Syria and 
Palestine. It was my privilege to accompany him, on his invita- 
tion, in February, 1857, through Palestine, when he was engaged 
in elaborating his great literary work " The Land and the Book." 

That journey, made one year after my arrival here, and with 
such a guide and companion, marked an epoch in my life. It 
^ established my goings " in Bible study and gave me a familiar- 
ity with Bible scenes and localities which has been to me of 
priceless value. On reaching camp at night, when we younger 
i men were well-nigh exhausted by long stages, through miry roads 
and swollen streams, he would sit up to a late hour writing up 
his notes of travel with the greatest care, apparently as fresh as 
in the morning. His buo)rant spirits, his thorough understanding 
of men, his facility in settling difficulties, his marvellous knowledge 
of Scriptural scenes and sites, his hearty good nature, willingness 
to impart useful information about the sacred localities, and his 
devout and reverent spirit, made him a most charming and in- 
valuable travelling companion. Every mountain and hill, every 
stream and valley, every rock and castle and cavern, every village 

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62 The Seven Pioneers 

and hamlet, were familiar to his practiced eye. His trusty horse, 
which had borne him often, through the '^ Land/' seemed to know 
every road and by-path. 

Dr. Thomson was an enthusiastic geologist, and in this we both 
heartily sympathized. He discovered the greater part of the fossil 
localities of Mount Lebanon and directed me to them. I never 
travel, or visit these localities, without recalling his valuable infor- 

He felt deeply that the Bible could only be fully and clearly 
understood by remembering its Oriental origin, and that it was 
important to study and record, with scrupulous exactness, the 
manners and customs, the language and salutations, the usages 
and peculiarities of the modern inhabitants of Syria and Pales- 
tine, before the influx of European ideas and habits should have 
swept away their distinctive features as illustrative of the language 
and thoughts of Bible characters. 

His studious habits, his ready pen, his almost microscopic 
powers of observation, and his habit of recording conscientiously 
every new discovery and impression, enabled him to accumulate, 
during his missionary life, a mass of material such as no one had 
ever been able to secure. And he felt that he could not do a 
better service to the Church and the world, than to turn the search- 
light of the land upon the pages of the Book. 

He was well fitted for the task and he did it well. He did it as 
missionary work in the broadest sense, and how well he did it, 
can be learned by seeing his volumes in the libraries of universi- 
ties, colleges and theological schools, in the homes of pastors 
and teachers, in Sunday-schools and public schools : quoted by 
scholars, preachers and teachers, in commentaries, books of 
travel, and encyclopedias. Nearly, if not quite 200,000 copies 
of " The Land and the Book " have been sold. 

When in the troublous war crises of 1841 and 1845 a number 
of men left the mission for America and urged the abandonment 
of the field, Dr. Thomson with Mr. Calhoun, and Drs. Van Dyck, 
Eli Smith, De Forest and Mr. Whiting resisted the suggestion, 
and stood to their posts, and saved the work from destruction. 

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William M. Thomson 63 

In June 23, 1859, on his return from a two years' visit to the 
United States, he was stationed in Beirut, where he remained 
for seventeen years, until his final departure for the United States, 
August 7, 1876. I laboured as his colleague during those seven- 
teen years and learned to love and admire him and trust in his 

In the fall of 1859, the population of Lebanon was in a state 
of agitation and preparation for a renewal of the old war between 
the Maronites and the Druses. 

In the spring of i860 the war-cloud burst, and for sixty days, 
civil war, the burning of villages, outrage and massacres dev- 
astated Southern Lebanon, the Bookaa, the Anti- Lebanon and 
Damascus. Thousands of refugees, men, women and children, 
widows and orphans, crowded into Beirut. Dr. Thomson was 
most active in the practical management of the distribution, by 
a committee, of nearly ;f 30,000, in money, food and clothing to 
the wretched sufferers. He had the special charge of the cloth, 
ing department, and distributed the material for 100,000 gar- 

When Lord Dufferin, and his successor. Colonel Frazier, 
wished judicious counsel in matters pertaining to the reorganiza- 
tion of the Mount Lebanon government, they consulted first of 
all the two veterans in missionary experience and knowledge. Dr. 
Thomson and Mr. Calhoun of Abeih. 

Lord Dufferin, in an official report sent to England at the 
time, in speaking of the part borne by the Syrian missionaries 
in the work of relieving the refugees, states that " without their 
indefatigable exertions, the supplies sent from Christendom 
could never have been properly distributed, nor the starvation of 
thousands of the needy been prevented." 

On the 29th of April, 1873, his devoted wife, Mrs. Maria 
Thomson, after more than forty years of a lovely and consistent 
Christian life in this community, passed to her heavenly reward, 
universally beloved and respected by people of all nation- 

On reaching the United States in 1877, he resided in New 

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64 The Seven Pioneers 

York for several years, and then removed to Denver, Colorado, 
where he enjoyed the clear skies and the towering mountains, 
which he said reminded him so vividly of his beloved Syria. In 
that city, in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Walker, and with 
the faithful ministrations of his unmarried daughter Emilia, he 
remained until April 8, 1894, when he was summoned to the 
heavenly Canaan, the unfading and unclouded '* Land of 
Promise," by the great inspirer of the " Book " he had so faith- 
fully laboured to illustrate and exalt before the minds of his 
fellow men. 

His actual connection with the mission in Syria .covered 
a period of forty-three years and five months. His sojourn in 
America lasted seventeen years and eight months. His latter 
days were serene and happy ; enjoying the full possession of all 
his faculties, he retained his interest in all that pertains to the 
kingdom of Christ His life and work were a blessing to Syria, 
in la}ring the foundations of the work now going on in all parts 
of the land. In the annual meetings of the mission, when 
grave questions were under discussion, he would rise to his feet, 
walk to and fro, and give utterance to his views in terms so 
clear, concise and convincing, that they generally settled the 

His life is an illustration of the fact that in the foreign mission 
service there is scope for every kind of talent and acquisition. 
Dr. Eli Smith could not have written '< The Land and the Book," 
and Dr. Thomson could not have translated the Bible. Dr. 
Thomson found in Syria and Palestine a vast unexplored field 
of Scriptural illustration. The land of the Bible, its topography 
and customs, were well-nigh unknown among the great Chris- 
tian nations of the West With unequalled facilities for travel- 
ling in the land and studying the people, he used the talents God 
had given him in illustrating the Word of God. Others engaged 
more especially in translating that book into the Arabic lan- 
guage, in founding schools and seminaries, in preparing a Chris- 
tian literature, and in preaching the Gospel from the pulpit or 
in the homes of the people. While he did what he could in 

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Digitized by 









Digitized by 


William M. Thomson 65 

several of these departments of labour, he gave more especial 
attention to that for which God had prepared him by special 
gifts and graces. His works do follow him. His name will be 
remembered, with those of Eli Smith and Edward Robinson, 
as one of the three Americans who were the pioneers of ex- 
ploration of the Bible lands, as a means of illustrating the Word 
of God 

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The Arabic Bible— Its Translation and the Trans- 
lators (1848-1865) 

** And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the na- 
tions." — Revelation 22: 2 
*• Hie labor^ hoc opus est'' 

FOREIGN missionaries have moved mountains. Grain by 
grain, rock by rock, by steady work, year after year, toil- 
ing, delving, tunnelling, the giant mountain obstacles 
have been gradually melted away. After years of silent, unseen, 
prayerful, agonizing work, suddenly a new version of the sacred 
Scriptures is announced, and millions find the door of knowledge 
and salvation suddenly opened to them. It is easy to read in a 
Bible society report that the Bible has been translated into 
Mandingo for eight millions, into Panjabi for fourteen millions, 
into Marathi for seventeen millions, into Cantonese for twenty 
millions, into Japanese for fifty millions, into Bengali for thirty- 
nine millions, into Arabic for fifty millions, into Hindi for eighty- 
two millions, and into Mandarin Chinese for two hundred mil- 
lions. But who can comprehend what it all means ? To those 
who claim that missionaries are, or should be, only men who are 
failures at home, who are unable to fill home pulpits, but are good 
enough for Asiatic or African mission work, such a statement 
must be an unsolved and unsolvable riddle. 

Translation is an art, a science, one of the most difficult of 
all literary undertakings. To translate an ordinary newspaper 
editorial from English into French, German or Italian, would 
cost most scholars many hours of work. It is easier to 
compose in a foreign tongue than to translate into it, adhering 
conscientiously to the meaning, yet casting it so perfectly into 
the native idiom as to conceal the fact of its foreign origin. Few 
natives of Asia can translate from English into their own tongue 


Digitized by 


Difficulties of Translation 67 

without revealing the stiif foreign unoriental source from which 
the material was taken. 

Dr. Thomas Laurie in his able work " Missions and Science/' 
p. 245, says, '' If any wonder why. so much pains should be taken 
to make a version not only accurate but idiomatic, let him read 
the following words of Luther in 1530: — ^'In translating, I 
have striven to give pure and clear German, and it has verily hap- 
pened that we have sought, a fortnight, three or four weeks, for 
a single word, and yet it was not always found. In Job we so 
laboured, Philip Melanchthon, Aurogallus and I, that in four days 
we sometimes barely finished three lines.' Again he writes, « We 
must not ask the Latinizers how to speak German, but we must 
ask the mother in the house, the children in the lanes, the com- 
mon man in the market-place and read in their mouths how they 
speak, and translate accordingly.' " 

If it was thus difficult for the learned Luther to translate from 
the Hebrew and Greek into his own mother German, how much 
more to translate from them into an Oriental tongue like the 
Arabic! And few foreign missionaries can translate ordinary 
tracts and books into the vernacular of their adopted country. 
Men must have a peculiar mental bent and devote years to study- 
ing and practicing the vulgar talk of the populace, and the pure 
classical language of the local literature, if there be a literature, 
and if not, to identify himself with those who are to read what 
he writes, before he can translate with success. But when you 
add to all this the work of translating a book of 960 pages from 
the ancient Hebrew, the Old Testament, and another of 270 
pages from the ancient Greek, the New Testament, so as to give 
your readers the exact literal idea of the original, and this into a 
language utterly diflferent in spirit, ideals and idioms not only 
from the Hebrew and Greek, but also from your own tongue, and 
remember that this is the Word of God in which error is inadmis- 
sible and might be fatal; knowing that the eyes of scores of mis- 
sionaries, and hundreds of native scholars in the future, as well as 
savants in philology and linguistic science in Europe and America 
will scan and criticize your work, and you might well exclaim. 

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6S The Arabic Bible 

"Who is sufficient for these things?" The true translator 
" nascitur, non fit'* It is born in him, and without this native 
genius and preparation he cannot succeed. 

Translators of the Scriptures are ** called of God, as was Aaron." 
Missionary boards send out young men to foreign lands, not 
knowing to what special work God may call them. It may be 
exploring, as Livingston ; or healing, as Dr. Parker, " who opened 
China to the Gospel at the point of the lancet " ; or teaching, as 
DufT, Hamlin and Calhoun ; or preaching, as Titus Coan of Hilo, 
Sandwich Islands ; or it may be translating, as Morrison, Hepburn, 
RiggSf Goodell, Eli Smith and Van Dyck. 

In 1847 ^ committee of which Dr. Eli Smith was chairman, 
and Drs. Thomson and Van Dyck were members, sent to the 
United States an appeal in behalf of a new translation of the Bible 
into the Arabic language, in which, after speaking of the com- 
paratively evanescent character of translations of the Bible into the 
languages of tribes evidently hastening to extinction, the appeal 
rises to high and almost prophetic eloquence in speaking of the 
future of the Arabic Bible : 

" The Arab translator is interpreting the lively orades for the 
forty millions of an undying race whose successive and ever 
augmenting generatrons shall fail only with the final termination 
of all earthly things. Can we exaggerate on such a theme ? Is 
it easy to overestimate the importance of that mighty power that 
shall send the healing leaves of salvation down the Tigris, the 
Euphrates, the Nile, and the Niger ; that shall open living foun- 
tains in the plains of Syria, the deserts of Arabia and the sands of 
Africa ; that shall gild with the light of life the craggy summits of 
goodly Lebanon and sacred Sinai and giant Atlas ? We think not 
These and kindred thoughts are not the thoughtless and fitful 
scintillations of imagination, the baseless dreams of a wild enthusi- 
asm. To give the Word of God to forty millions of perishing 
sinners, to write their commentaries, their concordances, their 
theology, their sermons, their tracts, their school-books and their 
religious journals : in short, to give them a Christian literature, or 
that germinating commencement of one, which can perpetuate its 

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Dr. Van Dyck's Account 69 

life and expand into full grown maturity, are great gigantic 
verities taking fast hold on the salvation of myriads which no man 
can number, of the present and all future generations." 

On the 2ist of February, 1885, Rev. James S. Dennis, D. D., 
then a member and librarian of the Syria Mission in Beirut, wrote 
to Dr. Van Dyck requesting him to prepare a careful sketch of 
the history of the translation of the Bible into the Arabic lan- 
guage. The following account to p. 76 summarizes the facts 
given in Dr. Van Dyck's reply : 

** An account of the Arabic Version of the Scriptures made under the 
auspices of the Syria Mission and the American Bible Society, 

** At the general meeting of the mission held in Beirut, February, 1848, 
mider the date of February nth, we find the following vote : 

" 'Resolved, that at the end of the present term of the seminary 
(Abeih) Butrus el Bistany be transferred to the Beirut station with a 
view to his being employed in the translation of the Scriptures, under 
the direction of Dr. Eli Smith.' (Mr. Bistany had been associated with 
Dr. Van Dyck in the Boys' Seminary of Abeih, from the time of its 
opening.) " 

Under same date, February 11, 1848, we have the following 
resolution : 

"Resolved, that Dr. Smith be authorized to correspond with the 
secretaries of the American Bible Society in relation to the contemplated 
new translation of the Scriptures into Arabic." 

Under date of April 4, 1849, we find the following : 

"Dr. Smith reported progress in the work of translating the Scriptures, 
and laid before the mission the first ten chapters of Genesis for examina- 
tion, and Messrs. Whiting, Thomson, Van Dyck, Hurter, De Forest and 
Ford were appointed a committee to examine what had been done and 
report to this meeting. This committee reported April 7th, stating 
'that they find the new translation' faithful to the original, and a 
decided improvement upon the version we now circulate, and recommend 
that the work be prosecuted to its completion upon the same general 
principles which appear to have guided the translator hitherto. They 

Digitized by 


70 The Arabic Bible 

also commended the translator and those associated with him to the 
fervent prayers of all the members of the mission, that they may be 
guided by divine wisdom in the prosecution of this all important work.'* 

It is plain from the above that Dr. Smith began to work on the 
translation in 1848, assisted by Sheikh Nasif el Yazigy^and Mr. 
Butrus el Bistany. First, Mr. Bistany made a translation into 
Arabic from the Hebrew or Greek with the aid of the Syriac 
Then Sheikh Nasif, who knew no language but Arabic, rewrote 
what had been translated, carefully sifting out all foreign idioms. 
Then Dr. Smith revised Sheikh Nasif *s manuscript by himself, and 
made his own corrections and emendations. Then he and Sheikh 
Nasif went over the work in company, and Dr. Smith was care- 
ful not to let the meaning be sacrificed for a question of Arabic 
grammar or rhetoric. 

Under date of April 9th, the mission records state that ** Dr. 
Smith submitted a copy of the new translation of the Book of 
Genesis, with some remarks and explanations, and it was voted 
that 100 copies of the new translation of Genesis be printed at the 
expense of the mission." 

As each form was struck off, a copy was sent to each member 
of the mission, and the Arabic scholars outside the mission, 
especially to the missionaries of other societies, and by special 
vote in March 29, 185 1, all the members of the mission were urged 
to give special attention to the new translation and to render 
Dr. Smith all the assistance in their power to carry it forward to 
its completion. 

In 1852, during the visit of Dr. Edward Robinson, of Union 
Seminary, Dr. Smith laid on the table the translation of the Penta- 
teuch up to the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy, and a committee, 
consisting of Messrs. Thomson, Whiting, Robinson, Calhoun, 
Marsh of Mosul and Ford, examined the translation and approved 
it, whereupon the translator was directed to finish the Pentateuch 
and then take up the New Testament March 23, 1 85 3, Dr. Smith 
laid upon the table the remainder of Deuteronomy, Matthew, 
Mark, and to the twelfth chapter of Luke. 

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Progress of the Work 71 

March 3, 1854, Dr. Smith had completed during the year from 
the twelfth chapter of Luke to i Corinthians. 

April 3, 185s, Dr. Smith reported that the New Testament had 
been completed, and also Jonah, Joel and Amos, and the print- 
ing of the Pentateuch had reached the sixth chapter of Exodus. 

April I, 1856, Dr. Smith made his last report, that in the Old 
Testament^ after finishing Nahum he had taken up Isaiah, and 
had reached the fifty-third chapter, and that in printing, the 
Pentateuch had advanced to the end of Exodus, and the New 
Testament to the sixteenth chapter of Matthew. 

At the time of his death he had devoted nine years to this 
work, or rather eight years of actual labour. A day or two be- 
fore his death Rev. D. M. Wilson asked him if he had anything 
to say about the translation. He replied, ** I will be responsible 
only for what has been printed. If the work should be carried 
on» I hope that what I have done will be found of some value." 

Before narrating the work of Dr. Van Dyck in completing the 
translation, let ps see what " helps " these learned scholars had at 
hand as a '' translation apparatus," connected with the Old Testa- 
ment. This list will deeply interest those who regard mission- 
aries as unscholarly and behind the times. 

1. Of Hebrew Grammars, they had Gesenius' Lehrgebaude (181 7), 
his smaller grammar edited by Rodiger (185 1), a gift from the editor; 
Ewald's Lehrbach (1844) <^d Nordheimer's Grammar. 

2. Of Lexicons : Gesenius' Hebrew Thesaurus, now completed by 
Rodiger (who kindly sent Dr. Smith the last part as soon as it left the 
press) ; and also Robinson's Gesenius, a gift from the translator. He 
had also Furst's Concordance and his School Dictiopary, also Noldin's 
Concordance of the Hebrew particles. 

3. Of Commentaries : Rosenmuller on the Pentateuch, and Tuch 
and Delitzch and Knobel on Genesis. Also the Glossa Ordinaria, a 
voluminous digest from the Fathers, and Pool's Synopsis, with other 
more common commentaries in English. 

4. Of non- Arabic versions of critical value : the London Polyglot (a 
gifk of Mrs. Fisher Howe, of Brooklyn, New York), with Buxtorf 's 
Chaldee, and Castel's Syriac Lexicon, and Schleusner's Greek Lexicon 

Digitized by 


72 The Arabic Bible 

of the Septuagiat, besides the lexicons which compose the seventh vol* 
arae of the Polyglot. Also Tischendorf's Septuagint, containing the 
readings of four ancient manuscripts; and, for a general Greek lexicon, 
Liddell and Scott. Among modem versions Dr. Smith made constant 
reference to that of De Wette's. 

5. Of Arabic versions : Dr. Smith had besides that of Saadias Gaon 
in the Polyglot, the Ebreo-Mauritanian version, edited by Erpenius, 
and three copies of the version of Abu Sa'd, the Samaritan ; two of 
these copies he hkd made from manuscripts some five hundred yean old, 
and the other edited by Kuenen, with the readings and notes of three 
manuscripts; also a distinct version in manuscript apparently made 
from the Peshito written nearly five hundred years ago. The above are 
ancient. Of more modem versions, I have the Romish edition re- 
printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society, which we now circu- 
late, and which is conformed to the Vulgate with frequent accommo- 
dations to the Peshito. Also the lessons read in the Greek and Gredc 
Catholic Churches printed at Shuwair and translated from the Septua- 
gint but following after other readings than those of the Polyglot; and 
the Karshuny lessons read in the Maronite Churches, printed at 
Koshaiya and translated from the Peshito. This version of the Maro- 
nites, if reference be had both to conformity with the Hebrew and ac- 
ceptableness of style to modem readers, is the best of all, but it con- 
tains, as well as the lessons of the Greeks, only a small portion of the 
Old Testament. 

6. Of other helps, Dr. Smith had Winer's Realworterbuch (last edi- 
tion), De Wette's Introduction to the Old Testament, and Hivemick's 
Introduction to the Pentateuch ; also Sherif-ed-Din-et-Tifasy on precious 
stones, and the Arabic Materia Medica called Ma-la-jrisa : bodi useful 
in explaining terms connected with natural history and kindred subjects. 
The Hebrew text used was that of Michaelis, whose notes and especial 
references are often valuable ; and also Dr. Rossi's various readings, and 
Bahrdt's remains of the Hexapla of Origen. 

7. This catalogue would not be complete without mentioning the 
more important helps to a full understanding and proper use of the 
Arabic language. Grammars : The Commentary of Ashmuny, on the 
Aleiiyeh of Ibn Malik ; the Commentary of Deroanuny on the Teshll of 
the same author, and Millu Jamy of Ibn el Haj^b, also Mughny el 
Labib of Ibn Hashim, invaluable for its definitions of the particles. Of 

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Van Dyck Takes Up the Work 73 

rhetoric, the Mukhtasr and Muttowwal of Teftazany. Of dictionaries, I 
have two copies of Feinizabady, and one of Jauhari, as well as the dic- 
tionary Fdyumy, and the Constantinople edition of Feiruzabady with 
definitions in Turkish. Of European works : the dictionary of Freytag 
and the Arabic-Turco-Persian dictionary of Meninski. Also the Tarifdt 
of Jorjimy, and the Kulliyat of Abu el Buka, which latter when fur- 
nished with a (Hroper index will help to many definitions of great value. 

After the death of Dr. Eli Smith many thought that the work 
of translation must cease. Dr. Smith was so learned, so accu- 
rate and conscientious, and so singularly prepared for this great 
work, that it seemed as though no one could fill his place. But 
though the worker falls the work goes on. The mantle of Eli fell 
on Cornelius. God had been preparing for seventeen years the 
man who was to complete the great work of giving the Bible to 
forty millions of men. Cornelius Van Alan Van Dyck, M. D., 
came to S)rria, April 2, 1840, aged twenty-one years and four 
months, the youngest American ever sent to Syria. He came as 
a medical missionary, had never studied theology, but in seven- 
teen years in Syria he had mastered the Arabic language, the 
S)rriac, Hebrew, Greek, French, Italian and German. He was of 
HoUandic origin, born at Kinderhook in 181 8. He had a genius 
for languages, a phenomenal memory, a clear intellect, and ex- 
celled in medicine, astronomy, the higher mathematics and lin- 
guistic science. His knowledge of Arabic, both classical and 
vulgar, was a wonder to both natives and foreigners, as will be 
seen in the chapter on his life and work. He had been ordained 
January 14, 1846, and afterwards received the degrees of D. D. 
and LL. D., and later that of L. H. D., from Edinburgh. 

At the next annual meeting of the mission after Dr. Smith's 
death (April 3, 1857), a committee was appointed to examine 
and report on the state of the translation of the Scriptures as left 
by Dr. Smith. This committee consisted of Messrs. Calhoun, Van 
Dyck, Ford, Eddy and Wilson, and reported that Genesis and 
Exodus had been printed with the exception of the last of Exodus 
which was in type but not edited. That the books of the Bible yet 

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74 The Arabic Bible 

untouched are Job, P^ins» Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Sol- 
omon, Ezekiel, Daniel, Habakkuk, 2^echariah, Zephaniah, Haggai 
and Malachi. The Historical Books from Joshua to Esther inclu- 
sive, and the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations, had been put 
into Arabic by Mr. Bistany, the assistant translator, but not revised 
by Dr. Smith. 

It was found that in the translation of the New Testament, the 
Greek text followed had been that of Hahn, but in the first thir- 
teen chapters of Matthew there are some variations from that 
text according to the text of Tregelles and others. 

The committee were unanimously of opinion that the transla- 
tion of the New Testament had been made with great care and 
fidelity, and that it could, with comparatively little labour, be 
prepared for the press, and they accordingly recommended to the 
mission to prosecute and complete its publication as soon as possible. 

The mission then appointed Dr. Van Dyck to the work. He 
was then living in Sidon, and removed to Beirut in November, 
1857, and went on with the work as directed. As the American 
Bible Society required a strict adherence to the Textus Receptus 
of Hahn's Greek Testament, Dr. Van Dyck revised every verse in 
the New Testament, taking up the work as if new. The basis 
left by Dr. Smith was found invaluable^ and but for it the work 
would have been protracted very much beyond what it really was. 
The form adopted was the second font Reference New Testa- 
ment. Thirty proofs were struck from each form as soon as set 
up in type and these proofs were distributed to all missionaries in 
the Arabic-speaking field, and to native scholars, and to Arabic 
scholars in Germany, viz. : Professor Fleischer of Leipsic, Professor 
Rodiger of Halle, afterwards of Berlin, Professor Fliigel of Dres- 
den and Dr. Behrnauer, librarian of the Imperial Library, Vienna. 
Some letters and proofs from some of these gentlemen and others 
have survived, and have been placed in the standard copy of the 
Old Testament, deposited in the library of the mission. The 
proofs distributed were returned to the translator with the criti- 
cisms of those to whom they had been sent, all of which were 
carefully examined and decided upon. 

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Its Simplicity of Style 75 

In 1862, Dr. Van Dyck wrote to the American Bible Society 
with regard to the labour involved in the translation of the Old 
Testament : *' In the first place, it must be carefully made from 
the Hebrew, then compared with the Syriac version of the Mar- 
onites, and the Septuagint of the Greeks ; the various readings 
given, and in difficult places the Chaldee Targums must be con- 
sulted, and hosts of German commentators, so that the eye is 
constantly glancing from one set of characters to another: then 
after the sheet is in type, thirty copies are struck oflTand sent to 
scholars in Syria, Egypt and even Germany. These all come 
back with notes and suggestions, every one of which must be 
well weighed. Thus a critic, by one dash of his pen, may cause 
me a day's labour, and not tiU all is set right, can the sheet be 

In regard to the style of Arabic adopted, it was the same as 
had been adopted by Dr. Smith after long and frequent con- 
sultations with the mission and with native scholars. Some would 
have preferred the style " Koranic," i. e,, Islamic, adopting 
idioms and expressions peculiar to Mohammedans. All native 
Christian scholars decidedly objected to this. It was agreed to 
adopt a simple but pure Arabic, free from foreign idioms, but 
never to sacrifice the sense to a g^mmatical quirk or a rhetorical 
quibble, or a fanciful tinkling of words. As a matter of fact, it 
will be seen that in the historical and didactic parts, the style is 
pure and simple, but in the poetical parts the style necessarily 
takes on the higher standard of the original, e.g.. Job, Psalms and 
parts of the prophets. The work of the^translation of the New 
Testament was finished March 9, i860, and a complete copy was 
laid upon the table at the annual meeting, March 28th, and that 
same copy is now preserved in the mission library. 

Dr. Van Dyck was assisted by a Mohammedan scholar of high 
repute, Sheikh Yusef el Asir, a graduate of the Azhar University 
of Cairo, whose purely Arabic tastes and training fitted him to 
pronounce on all questions of grammar, rhetoric and vowelling, 
subject to the revision and final judgment of Dr. Van Dyck. 

In April, i860, the mission directed Dr. Van Dyck to carry on 

Digitized by 


j6 The Arabic Bible 

the translation of the Old Testament commencing with Leviticus. 
The last chapter of Exodus was edited by Dr. Van Dyck imme* 
diately after Dr. Smith's death, and printed, so that the whole of 
Genesis and Exodus might be before the mission. 

In 1864, an edition of the vo welled Psalms in parallelisms was 
issued i6mo, and on August 22, 1864, Dr. Van Dyck reported 
the completion of the translation of the Old Testament. Friday, 
March 10, 1865, a celebration took place at the American Press, 
in honour of the printing of the Old Testament, thus completing 
the new Arabic translation of the Bible. 

In the upper room, where Dr. Smith had laboured on the 
translation eight years, and Dr. Van Dyck eight years more, the 
assembled missionaries gave thanks to God for the completion of 
this arduous work. Just then, the sound of many voices arose 
from below, and on throwing open the door, we heard a large 
company of native young men, labourers at the press and mem- 
bers of the Protestant community, singing to the tune of Hebron, 
a new song, " Even praise to our God," composed for the occa- 
sion by Mr. Ibrahim Sarkis, chief compositor, in the Arabic Ian. 
guage. Surely not for centuries have Uie angels in heaven heard 
a sweeter sound arising from Syria than the voices of this band 
of pious young men, singing a hymn composed by one of 
themselves, ascribing glory and praise to God, that now, 
for the first time, the Word of God is given to their nation in its 

I translated this hymn into English, and on Sunday evening, 
March 12th, a public meeting was held in the old church in com- 
memoration of this great event, and addresses were made by Rev. 
James Robertson, Scotch Chaplain, Mr. Butrus Bistany and 
Rev. D. Stuart Dodge. The hymn was sung in Arabic and 

The English is as follows : 

Hail day, thrice blessed of our Ciod 1 

Rejoice, let all men bear a part. 
Complete at length Thy printed word ; 

Lord, print its truths on every heart 1 

Digitized by 


Its Completion 77 

To Him who gave His gracious word. 

Arise, and with glad praises sing : 
Exalt and magnify our Lord, 

Our Maker and our glorious King 1 

Lord, spare Thy servant through whose toil, 
Thou gav'st us this of books the best, 

Bless all who shared the arduous task 
From Eastern land or distant West. 

Amen ! Amen 1 lift up the voice : 
Praise God whose mercy's e'er the same : 

His goodness all our song employs. 
Thanksgiving then to His Great Name 1 

June 3, 1865, Dr. Van Dyck proceeded to New York, in 
accordance with arrangements made with the American Bible 
Society, and superintended the making of a set of electrotype 
plates of the entire Arabic Bible in large type 8vo, and of the 
vowelled New Testament. Two years later he returned to Beirut 
with Mr. Samuel Hallock, an electrotyper, and superintended 
electrotjrping the vowelled Old Testament 8vo, and editions of 
the entire Bible and of the New Testament The American 
Bible Society furnished the British and Foreign Bible Society 
with a duplicate set of plates of the Bible and New Testament 
made in New York and also of the vowelled Old Testament made 
in Beirut 

Thus was the Arabic Bible completed. In a short time ten 
editions, containing forty thousand copies, had been printed. 
The accuracy of its renderings, the idiomatic excellence of the 
style, and even the beauty of the type, which Dr. Smith had 
prepared especially for it, and which surpassed all that had gone 
before as much as the translation excelled all previous effort, 
made it popular among all classes, so that even the Moslem was 
forced to commend the Bible of the Christian. No literary work 
of the century exceeds it in importance and it is acknowledged 
to be one of the best translations of the Bible ever made. 

Since that day, not less than thirty-two editions of the Arabic 
Bible and parts of the same have been printed, comprising about 

Digitized by 


78 The Arabic Bible 

nine hundred thousand copies, and on the title page of every 
copy is the imperial permit and sanction of the government of 
the Turkish Sultan. These books have been sent, and are still 
being sent» by tens of thousands of copies, to the whole Arabic 
reading Mohammedan world, from Mogador and Sierra Leone 
on the Atlantic to Peking on the East: to Morocco, Algiers^ 
Tunis, Egypt, Sudan, Arabia, Zanzibar, Aden, Muscat, Bussorah, 
Bagdad, India, the East Indies, Northern China, Persia, Mesopo- 
tamia, Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria and to the new colonies of 
Syrian emigrants in the United States, Brazil and Australia. 

The best selling book in Syria and Egypt to-day is the Arabic 
Bible. It is the loving gift of the one hundred and forty 
millions of Protestant Christians to the two hundred millions of 
Mohammedans of whom sixty millions speak the Arabic lan- 
guage, while the rest use the Arabic Koran as their sacred book, 
and are scattered all the way from the Canary Islands through 
North Africa and Southern Asia to Peking in China. 

As Mr. Calhoun has beautifully said in one of his letters, 
" Just as Syria, once lighted up with the oil made from her own 
olives, is now illuminated by oil transported from America, so 
the light of revelation that once burned brightly there, lighting 
up the whole earth with its radiance long suffered to go out in 
darkness, has been rekindled by missionaries from America, in 
the translation of her own Scriptures into the spoken language 
of her present inhabitants." Priest Ghubreen Jebara, a learned 
Greek ecclesiastic in Beirut, said in a public address, in 1865, 
" But for the American missionaries, the Word of God had well-- 
nigh perished out of the language : but now, through the labours 
of Dr. Eli Smith and Dr. Van Dyck, they have given us a trans- 
lation so pure, so exact, so clear, and so classical, as to be accept- 
able to all classes and all sects/' 

Digitized by 


Organization of a Native Evangelical 
Church (1848) 

The Oriental Churches— Their sects and peculiar beliefs— Their re- 
fonn hopeless — ^The native demand for organization — ^Wisdom of the 
step— Protest of the Anglican Church— The Greek Church and baptism 
— ^Ikons. 

THE Oriental Churches may be divided into six great 
classes, conaprising fourteen different sects : 
I. The Monophysite, Eutychian or anti-Chalce- 
donian sects, who reject the decrees of the Council of Chal- 
cedon held in 541. These are four ; the Armenians, Jacobites 
(or Syrians), Copts and Ab)rssinians. They all have their own 
distinct ritual and calendar, are hostile to each other and all 
other Christian sects, have a married parish clergy and reject the 
primacy of the Pope. 

2. The anti-Ephesian, who reject the Council of Ephesus in 
431. These are the Nestorians or Chaldeans. These have a 
married clergy and a high reverence for the Scriptures, and but 
little picture worship. 

3. The Orthodox Greek, who accept the seven General 
Councils. The Greek Church is Rome decapitated, a priestly 
S3^tem without a pontifex, an exclusive traditional church, which 
allows the Bible to the people. In the Turkish Empire, its 
patriarch and the most of its bishops are foreigners, speaking 
only Greek and ignorant of the wants and customs of the people, 
though of late the Syrians of the Greek Church have obtained 
bishops of the Arab race. The parish clergy are married and 
generally most illiterate. The present Anglican bishop in 
Jerusalem, Dr. Blyth, remarked to a traveller in 1890, that " no 
one but those who lived in the East could be aware of the gross 


Digitized by 


8o Organization of a Native Evangelical Church 

ignorance and immorality of the Greek priests." Ordinarily, the 
practice in appointing priests is that of Jeroboam, who '* made 
priests of the lowest of the people." 

4. The Maronites, a papal sect, the ancient Monothelites, who 
accepted the papacy 1182 a. d., during the Crusades. They 
get their name from John Maron, monk, priest and patriarch, 
who died 707 a. d. They adhere to the Oriental rite, conduct- 
ing service in the Syriac, a language not understood by the 
people. The only sin unpardonable by the priests is reading 
the Bible. The people are chiefly peasants, in Northern Lebanon, 
an illiterate people, and an educated priesthood, sworn to alle^ 
giance to Rome and yet like all the above, having a married 
parish clergy. Their head is the Patriarch of Antioch, living 
in Lebanon, and regarded by the people as hardly inferior to the 

In the da}rs of Bird and King, the patriarch vented his wrath 
on the family of Lattoof d Asshy of Ehden for having leased 
his house to Mr. Bird in 1827. " They are therefore accursed, 
cut off from all Christian communion : and let the curse envelop 
them as a robe and spread through all their members like oil, 
break them in pieces like a potter's vessel, and wither them like 
the fig tree cursed by the mouth of the Lord Himself: let the 
evil angel rule over them by day and by night, asleep or awake. 
We permit no one to visit them or employ them or do them a 
favour, or give them a salutation or converse with them in any 
form or manner, but let them be avoided as a putrid member 
and as hellish dragons." 

5. The SIX Oriental papal sects, who are converts from six 
of the above sects to the Church of Rome. They are : the Papal 
Greek, Papal Armenian, Papal Nestorian, Papal Coptic, Papal 
Syrian, Papal Abyssinian. They maintain their own calendars 
and saint's days, the marriage of the parish clergy, and various 
ancient prerogatives, which the papal legates are now striving 
most assiduously to abolish. 

6. The Latins, a small community, composed chiefly of at- 
taches of the French and Italian monasteries, and foreign European 

Digitized by 


The Christian Sects 


residents, who have conformed in all respects to the Church of 

These sects all agree sufficiently both in the common truth and 
the common error which they hold to be classed as one — one in 
their need of reformation, one in being an obstacle to the Chris* 
tianization of the Mohammedan world. They all hold the doc- 
trines of transubstantiation, of baptismal regeneration, priestly 
absolution, Mariolatry and saint worship, image and picture wor- 
ship, auricular confession and prayers for the dead. Their 
patriarchs and bishops are celibate, chosen from the monastic 
orders, but the parish clergy are allowed to marry once. Instruc- 
tion in thb Scriptures is virtually unknown. The members of 
these sects in S)rria, Palestine, Egypt and Persia, not including 
Russia and Greece, are as follows : 

Orthodox Greeks - 












Nestorian Catholics 


Greek CathoUcs 


Jacobite Sjrrians 


Other papal sects 


Nestonans in India 

* • 4 


Total • . . . 

Thus we have about ten millions of nominal Christians scattered 
throughout the great centres and seats of Mohammedan power. 
These Christian sects have never felt the impulse of such an 
awakening as shook all Europe in the days of the Reformation. 
About thirty years after the death of Luther, the German Protes- 
tant divines opened correspondence with the Patriarch of Con- 
stantinople, but he rejected their overtures with contempt. The 
Greek Church *• knew not the day of its visitation." For three 
hundred years after that time, with the exception of the sending 

Digitized by 


82 Organization of a Native Christian Church 

of papal legates, hardly a movement was made in Europe towards 
modifying the state of the Eastern Churches. 

It was not the intention of the early missionary pioneers, nor 
was it the policy of the Board of Missions, to set up a new 
church organization in the East It was hoped that the heads of 
the Oriental Churches might be induced to reform their churches. 
To this end, Fisk, Parsons, King and Bird visited the patriarchs, 
bishops, abbots and priests in their houses and convents and 
at first were received cordially. But as soon as they began to 
distribute the Scriptures and preach, ^* to the law and to the testi- 
mony," and that salvation is through faith in Christ alone, the 
whole power of ecclesiastical persecution was turned against them. 
They were excommunicated, cursed, reviled. The people were 
warned against them. Bonfires were made of Bibles and tracts. 
All were forbidden to harbour them, sell to them or buy from 
them. The Maronite patriarch, being virtually lord of the 
Lebanon, compelled emirs, begs and sheikhs to persecute these 
Bible men or be themselves deprived of office and excluded from 
heaven. The Jesuits obtained, through political intrigue, a firman 
from the Sultan, forbidding the import or sale of the Scriptures and 
all other books and ordering all existing copies to be destroyed. 

But the light had begun to shine. The leaven was working in 
many minds. One after another joined themselves to the mis- 
sionaries openly or secretly, and attended the preaching services. 
Yet when they asked for the administration of the sacraments, 
baptism and the Lord's Supper, they were referred to their old tradi- 
tional churches. But they would not confess to a priest nor accept 
the idolatrous ceremonies growing out of the doctrine oftransub- 
stantiation. The Maronites taught that inasmuch as the priest in 
the mass converts the bread into the perfect divinity and humanity 
of Christ, therefore he creates God, and as he " who creates is 
greater than him who is created, therefore the priest is greater 
than God." Yet the missionaries had been instructed " not to 
interfere with the Oriental Churches, but to visit the ecclesiastics 
and persuade them, if possible, to abandon their errors, which are 
repugnant to the Word of God." 

Digitized by 


Should We Proselyte? 83 

Tlie missionaries accordingly gave themselves to the work of 
education, Bible distribution and the press. But in 1832 the 
Greek bishops in Latakia, Tripoli, Damascus and other places, 
gathered the Arabic Bibles (printed in London from the version 
of the Roman Propaganda) and burned them in the courtyards 
of the churches. In 1829 the Maronite patriarch put to death 
Asaad es Shidiak for reading the Bible and rejecting the errors ot 

In September, 1835, ^^^' ^^^ £1> Smith and William M. 
Thomson and other missionaries » in reply to the request of a 
papal Greek priest from Acre to profess the Protestant faith, 
adopted the following minutes : " (i) It is not an object with 
us to draw individuals from other native Christian sects and 
thereby increase our own denomination. (2) Yet according to 
the principles of the churches which have sent us hither, when a 
member of any native sect, giving satisfactory evidence of piety, 
desires the sacraments of us, we cannot refuse his request, how- 
ever it may interfere with his previous ecclesiastical relations.' 
On this basis, individuals of the various Oriental Churches, in- 
cluding bishops, priests and others, were received to the Lord's 
table, together with baptized converts from the Druses. But the 
number of enlightened men and women increased in various parts 
of the land and they demanded the right to be organized into a 
distinct Evangelical Protestant Church of their own. This re- 
quest was finally acceded to, and the first Protestant Native Syrian 
Church was organized in 1848. Since that time twenty-eight 
other churches have been organized in this mission, with about 
2,600 communicants (4,364 since the beginning) from among the 
Moslems, Jews, Druses, Greeks, Maronites, Nusairiyeh and 
Bedawin Arabs. 

In India, the Christian Church is the only organization which 
gathers men of all the warring castes into one harmonious body. 
And here, the Evangelical Church is the only place where con- 
verts from all these warring sects sit together as brethren. The 
whole number of Protestant Churches in the empire is now about 
200, with 20,000 communicants and nearly 100,000 adherents. 

Digitized by VjOOQICc 

84 Organization of a Native Christian Church 

The wisdom of thus erecting a separate Evangelical Church 
has been demonstrated. It is an object-lesson to all the Chris- 
tian and non-Christian sects, and an exhibition of the Christian 
faith in its simplicity and New Testament purity. An honest 
attempt to reform the Oriental Churches was made and 

This powerful, intelligent, well educated and upright element 
in the population is a living rebuke to ignorance, superstition and 
ecclesial^tical assumption. It has weakened the tyrannical power 
of the priesthood, and in fact to-day shields tens of thousands of 
adherents of the old Churches from extortion and oppression, 
through fear lest they break away entirely and join the Protestant 
ranks. An old Maronite priest once complained to me, " You 
Protestant missionaries have ruined us. Our people will not pay 
for masses as they once did, and if we threaten them with ex- 
communication, they laugh at us and threaten to become Prot- 

The majority of the Protestant communities are from the 
Oriental Churches, just as the apostles made the most converts 
at first among the Jewish synagogues. But the question arises 
now. Are we justified in keeping up the work of evangelization 
among these Oriental Churches ? The consensus of the non- 
Episcopal Churches in Europe and the United States would, no 
doubt, answer in the affirmative. But the high ecclesiastical 
party in the Anglican Church protests that this whole movement 
is a mistake. It is denounced as proselytism, as an attempt to 
build up one Christian Church at the expense of another. It is 
said that these Greeks and Maronites and others have the 
" creeds of Christendom," and we have no right to receive their 
followers into our churches. We might reply to this charge by 
the " et tu Brute " countercharge, that these same high sacerdo- 
talists do not hesitate in England and America to receive scores 
of Methodists and Baptists, Congregationalists and Friends to 
their own church without feeling that they have committed the 
heinous sin of proselytism. The work of missions in the East 
can be justified without such an " argumentum ad homimm!* 

Digitized by 


Its Necessity 85 

Let us consider the whole question calmly in the light of God's 
Word and Providence. 

The chief and ultimate object of missionary work in Western 
Asia is the conversion of the Mohammedans to the Christian 
faith. They number 200,000,000 in Asia and Africa, and con- 
stitute one of the great influential factors in the future religious 
history of the race. The Gospel is to be given to them. All 
the Christian Churches which have any missionary zeal admit 
this. Thus far, they are almost unaffected by the great mission- 
ary movements of the nineteenth century. They believe in one 
God and in the divine origin of the Old and New Testaments (et 
Tourah w'el Injeel) but regard the Scriptures as corrupted, deny 
the divinity of Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection, ignore 
the spirituality of religion, and look upon Christians as their in* 
feriors and hereditary enemies. Having seen only the Oriental 
type of Christianity, they despise its immorality and idolatry 
and protest against the creature worship and image worship of 
both the Greek and Latin Churches. Images and pictures are 
the abomination of the Mohammedan world. 

The pagans of the second century objected to Christianity 
that it had neither altars nor images: the Moslem of the 
twentieth century objects to Christianity that it has only images 
and altars. The Christian missionary to-day urges a Moham- 
medan to accept Christianity. He is met with the derisive 
reply, " Thank God we are not idol-worshippers as are you 
Christians, and, God willing, we never will be. We have lived 
among Christians twelve hundred years, and we want none of 
your creature worship. There is no God but God." The mis- 
sionary may protest and explain, but until he can show the 
Moslem a pure Christianity in life and doctrine, and illustrate 
by living examples the Bible ideal of a Christian Church, his 
appeals and argument will be in vain. 

This state of things confronted all Christian missionaries in 
Oriental lands eighty years ago, and it confronts them to-day. 
These Oriental Churches are among the greatest obstacles to the 
conversion of their Mohammedan neighbours. 

Digitized by 


86 Organization of a Native Christian Church 

Protestants will generally admit this with regard to the Church 
of Rome, and at the same time there are those who contend that 
the Greek Church is purer, and hence should t>e entrusted with 
the work of evangelizing the Moslems and Jews in Western 
Asia. As this question is now a " burning" one in the Anglican 
Church, let us ask, What is the teaching and practice of the 
Greek Church in Western Asia to-day ? 

The Nineteenth Article of Faith of the Church of England 
declares that '<as the Churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria and 
Antioch have erred, so the Church of Rome hath erred, not 
only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in mat- 
ters of faith." And in Article Twenty-two, " The Romish 
doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and 
Adoration as well of Images as of Reliques and also Invocation 
of Saints, is repugnant to the Word of God." 

The Greek Church teaches in its Catechism and Synnaxar the 
following doctrines : 

1. That salvation is merited by good works. 

2. That baptism, the holy chrism and communion, are indis- 
pensable to salvation. 

In 1886, 1 wrote to Rev. Dr. SchafTas follows : 

Beirut, Syria, /an. 4, 1886. 
Prof. P. Schaff, D. D., 

Dear Brother : — I have at length secured the facts and iDforma- 
tioD with regard to the mode of baptism among the various Chris* 
tian sects in S]rria, for which you ask in your letter of September 14, 
1885. The <' statement of Dr. Hitchcock, based upon the authority of 
Dr. Van Dyck" as to the word '' amamud,** is evidently a misunder- 
standing. I sent the letter to Dr. Van Dyck, and he replies : 

^* There is no such Syriac word as amamud. It is evidently mistaken 
for the Arabic word ma* mud.' The passive participle of Syriac *amad 
(Arabic 'amadd) is *amid. The Arabic word ma'mud has been mis- 
taken for a Syriac word. But that does not at all affect the argument. 
Immersion, in whole or in part, supplemented by pouring if necessary, 
is the Oriental mode of baptism. A Greek priest in Hasbeiya re* 

Digitized by 


Baptism in the Greek Church 87 

hoftiztd a Copt by immerson in the river of Shiba, /. /., in one of its 
pools formed among the rocks." 

In addition to what Dr. Van Dyck here states, it is well known 
that the Orthodox Greek Church insists upon trine immersion as essen- 
tial to salvation, whether in the case of infants or adults. Yet some- 
times, in case of necessity, they baptize by pouring water three times 
upon the head. 

An adult woman, bom a Druse, and baptized by Mr. Calhoun when 
a young girl, was rebaptized by a Greek priest near Tripoli, on being 
married to a Greek. The priest's wife took her to a pool of stagnant 
water, stripped off her clothes, the priest standing with averted face. 
The priest then walked backward into the water, and inmiersed her 
three times, turning his head the other way. The father, a native 
preacher, was so outraged in his feelings by the act, that he left the 
Protestant sect, on the erroneous idea that the Protestants could have 
prevented it 

A Greek priest in Munsif, in Mount Lebanon, had a child eight months 
old brought to him for baptism. It was too large for the stone baptismal 
font, so he held it on his left arm, and poured the water three times 
over its head. 

In a village near Tripoli, a mother took her child to the abbot of a 
Greek monastery to be baptized. The abbot baptized it by holding it 
on his left arm and pouring the water three times over its head. The 
mother protested that this was not baptism, and complained to the 
Greek bishop. He rebuked her, telling her that the baptism was per- 
fectly legitimate and sufficient 

A Maronite teacher has given me a statement about the mode of bap- 
tism among the Jacobites or Syrians. 

The priest strips the child to the waist, holds him under his left arm, 
uses neither salt nor oil ; then pours water fhr^e times, with his right 
hand, on the head, in the name of the Father and the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost 

In the Syrian-Catholic Church (Jacobite Catholic) the baptism is 
similar to that of the Maronites. The priest takes the child from the 
hand of the godfather and godmother in the door of the church and 
carries him into the church, lajrs the child on a white veil on the floor, 
then prays over a handful of salt, puts salt into the child's mouth. 
Then he pinches the child's nostrils, saying : *' Open, ye nostrils, and 

Digitized by 


88 Organization of a Native Christian Church 

inhale the heavenly odours." Then he takes the child to the font, and 
hands him to the godfather, who repeats the creed. Then the priest 
asks him: ''Do you repudiate the devil and all his works?" Ans. 
"Yes." "Do you believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost?" Ans. "Yes." "Do you believe in the incarnation and 
death of Jesus Christ, and in the articles of faith of the Roman Catholic 
ApostoUc Church ? " Ans. " Yes." 

He then asks the name of the child, and does he wish to be baptized ? 
" Yes." Then he prays over the water in the font. Then he drops 
three drops of melted wax from the lighted taper into the water, for the 
three persons of the Trinity. Then he makes the sign of the cross with 
the candle in the water, saying : " God commanded four rivers to water 
the four quarters of the globe. Thus God blessed you, O waters of the 
wedding in Cana of Galilee," etc. Then the priest puts his hand into 
the water three times, then drops three drops of oil into the water. Then 
he repeats the question: "Do you wish to be baptized?" "Yes. I 
wish to be baptized according to the baptism of the Catholic Apostolic 
Petrine Church, and unite my intentions (purposes) with yours." 

The priest then takes the child under his left arm, and holds his head 
over the font and pours three handfuls of water on his head, in the name 
of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He then raises up the child^ 
wipes his head with a towel, and hands him to the godfather. The 
priest washes his hands and wipes them. He then brings the holy oil 
of Mairon, bares the breast of the child, and anoints with oil, in the form 
of a cross, his breast and two shoulders. He then wipes ofif the oil with 
cotton, then washes ofif the oil with soap and water, then drains ofif the 
water from the font, bums the cotton Jn the font, and washes out its ashes. 

Then the priest gives the godfather a white towel (given by the fam- 
ily), saying : " Take a pure white towel to meet your Lord in purity." 

Then they walk around the church, carrying the child and singing : 
" Blessed be thou, now baptized with the baptism of the Spuit." I do 
not feel called upon to draw inferences from these statements; but some 
things are plain. 

1. Trine immersion is the baptism of the Greek Church, yet they al- 
low pouring when immersion is not convenient 

2. The Jacobites baptize by pouring three times. 

3. The Maronites and Papal Jacobites by pouring three times. 

The fonts in the Greek Churches are always small, and in case of 

Digitized by 


The Worship of Ikons 89 

large children or adults they must either pour or resort to pools or 

The word ^arnad in Arabic means to stand upright ; at amad means 
to resolve, to purpose ; 'amid means a pillar ; tna^mudiyet means bap- 
tism ; ma' mud means one baptizec^ as do mat amad and m'ammad. 

Whether the meaning ''upright" and "standing" attached to this 
word has anything to do with ih^ posture of the one baptized, it is not 
easy to decide. 

The Lord grant us all, and especially these dead Christian sects of 
the East, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

Yours affectionately, 

H£NRY H. Jessup. 

3. Penances are appointed to '' cleanse the conscience and 
give peace of mind." 

4. The communion is a sacrificial mass. In the liturgy of the 
mass, hardly a vestige of the original institution of the Lord's Sup- 
per is preserved. It is a sacrifice " for the believers who are dead, for 
the primitive parents, for the fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, 
preachers, martyrs, confessors, hermits and teachers, and for the 
soul of every just man who died in the faith." During the serv- 
ice of the mass, persons enter the inner temple where the priest 
is sacrificing, and lay down money to pay for masses for their dead. 

5. They believe in a " limbus " where the souls of the departed 
are received and kept until the Day of Judgment. 

6. It teaches and requires the worship of " ikons " or holy 
pictures. They repudiate carved images, but devoutly pray to 
pictures, light candles and burn incense before them. 

In the Synnaxar for the first Sunday in Lent is the abominable 
expression, " As to the impious infidels who are not willing to 
honour the holy images (ikons), we excommunicate and curse 
them saying. Anathema." And in the Horologion, Beirut edition, 
1849, page 696, is the following curse : " May the lips of the im- 
pious hypocrites (-el-munafikeen) become dumb, who worship 
not thy revered likeness, O Mary, which was painted by Luke, 
the most holy evangelist, and by which we have been led to the 
fiuth ! " In Uie Greek Churches, the worshippers bum incense. 

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go Organization of a Native Christian Church 

light tapers, bow before the filthy painted boards and devoutly 
kiss them ! 

7. The Mariolatry of the Greek Church is also a grievous 
error and a stumbling-blpck in the way of Mohammedans. The 
following prayers are from the Horologion (Prayer-Book) page 
678 : " We are lost through our many sins, turn us not away dis- 
appointed, for thou alone art our only hope^ " We take refuge 
in thee." "O thou who alone art the hope of Christians.** 
«' Save from future punishment those who put their trust in thee. 

This last is a plain deification of the Virgin Mary, and led the 
Mohammedans to charge, as they do to this day, that <'the 
Trinity is a blasphemous elevation of a woman to a place in the 
Godhead." Space will not allow our giving details as to the 
worship of relics, the prayers offered to the reputed wood of the 
cross and the brutal deception of the " Holy Fire " at Easter, an- 
nually sanctioned and promoted by the patriarch bishops and 
priests of Jerusalem as a proof of the orthodoxy of the Greek 

It brings a blush to Ae cheek of every true Christian visiting 
Jerusalem to know, that these ecclesiastics light a torch with a 
lucifer match and then thrust it through a hole in the wall of the 
Holy Sepulchre, telling the surging thousands of ignorant pil- 
grims that this is a miraculous flame lighted from heaven ; while 
Mohammedan military officers and guards, placed there to keep 
the mob of crazed fanatics from trampling each other to death, 
look on with disgust and contempt at such a fraud enacted in the 
name of Jesus Christ ! 

The high Anglicans demand that we leave these ecclesiastics 
to evangelize the Mohammedans, and get us out of the country 1 
How, then, shall the Gospel in its purity be given to the Oriental 
Churches ? With such doctrines and practices, there is no hope 
of a union between Protestants and the Greek Church, until Prot- 
estants submit to trine immersion at the hands of a Greek priest. 

Again, there is no hope of reforming the higher ecclesiastics 
and through them the people. The twelve labours of Hercules 

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The Native Demand 91 

were slight compared with such a task. The patriarchs and 
bishops of the East are, as a class, wealthy, avaricious, masters of 
political intrigue, unscrupulous, and trained to hierarchical tyranny 
over the consciences of men, and will probably be the last class in 
the East to accept the Gospel in its simplicity. No change in 
liturgies, prayers, doctrines and usages would t>e possible without 
a council of the four patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, Jeru- 
salem and Alexandria, and the Holy Synod of Russia, and such 
a council for such an object is about as likely as a council at Rome 
to abolish the papacy or a council at Mecca to abolish Islam. 

High offices are bought and sold. In August, 1 891, an intrigue 
was carried on by a high Greek ecclesiastic in Jerusalem to pur- 
chase, the patriarchal chair of Antioch (in Damascus and Beirut) 
by the payment of ;f 10,000 and the endowment of the chair with 
nearly ;i^90,ooo on his death I 

A third plan has been to preach the Gospel and give the Bible 
to the people, leaving them in their own ecclesiastical relations, 
in the hope of reforming the Church from within. This plan has 
been patiently tried, as we have stated above, in Syria, Asia 
Minor and Egypt, without success. For no sooner do men read 
the Bible and become enlightened, than they make haste to 
«*come out and be separate." Enlightened New Testament 
students will not pray to a creature or worship a painted 

The result has been that the people themselves have demanded 
and compelled the organization of a new Oriental Evangelical 
Church in Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Asia Minor. It has vin- 
dicated the claims of Christianity to be a pure non-idolatrous re- 
ligion. Mohammedans can see the Bible acted out in life in the 
teaching and practice of the Protestant Churches. 

In 1850, in the agreement between Baron Bunsen and Arch- 
bishop Sumner with regard to the Jerusalem bishopric, it is said, 
«« Duty requires a calm exposition of Scriptural truth and a quiet 
exposition of Scriptural discipline : • • . and where it has 
pleased God to give His blessing to it, and the mind has become 
emancipated from the fetters of a corrupt faith, there we have no 

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right to turn our backs upon the liberated captive and bid him 
return to his slavery or seek aid elsewhere." 

This is high authority, and the 20,000 communicants in the 
Protestant Churches in the Turkish Empire are simply <' liberated 
captives." The recent exhibition of iconolatry in Russia, when 
a whole carload of holy '< ikons " or pictures of saints was sent 
with General Kuropatkin on his departure from St Petersburg 
for the war, to insure him victory, was received among the Mo- 
hammedans of the Turkish Empire with derision and contempt. 
They said, ** Do the Russians expect that painted boards are go- 
ing to conquer the armies of Japan ? " The fact that the Greek 
Church allows its people to read the Bible is full of promise, but 
as long as it makes tradition of equal authority with the Bible, it 
will hold on to Mariolatry and picture worship. 

To place ourselves on a vantage-ground with the Mohammed- 
ans, we must let it be thoroughly understood that we are dis- 
tinct and separate from the idolatrous Oriental Churches. The 
Moslems look on these " Christians " as creature worshippers. 
They are now beginning to understand that the Protestants 
hold to a purer faith. Sheikh Mohammed Smair, of the 
Anazy Arabs, on entering our simple church in Beirut, stood 
by my side in the pulpit, and placing his hand on the open 
Arabic Bible, said, " Truly this is the house of God. There 
is no image or idol here, only the house of God, and the Book 
of God." 

The Greek Church in the last twelve hundred years has writ- 
ten its own condemnation. Where is the list of its converts 
from Islam during this long period ? If it be replied in apology 
that the Greeks have during this time been politically subject to 
Islam and could do no proselyting work, we reply by pointing 
to the Ottoman Tartar conquest of the Arabs, when the con- 
querors embraced the religion of the conquered. 

Alas, it is too true that the Greek Church in Syria and Pales- 
tine has lost all missionary zeal, and has ceased to honour the 
Holy Spirit while nominally holding to His divinity. 

We as Protestants must present the Gospel to Islam in its 

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Character and Organization 93 

pristine purity and simplicity. Let us repudiate all alliances with 
human traditions and anti-Christian idolatries. 

The Oriental Churches have lost the spirit which might enable 
them to evangelize Islam. They care not to do it. They can- 
not do it. They will not do it. This " kingdom " of privilege 
and service " shall be taken from them and given to another," 
even to the Churches of tlie Reformation. 

The Evangelical Native Churches in Syria are all Presbyterian 
in polity and doctrine ; those in Palestine, Episcopal in polity and 
doctrine, but truly evangelical, and not in sympathy with high 
Anglican assumptions ; those in Egypt, chiefly Presbyterian of 
the United Presbyterian Church of the United States of America ; 
those in Asia Minor and European Turkey almost all Congrega- 
tional. In connection with the American Presbyterian Mission 
in Syria are three presbyteries ; that of Mount Lebanon and 
Beirut ; that of Sidon and dependencies, and that of Tripoli and 
Hums. Their organization is regular but simple, and the annual ^ 
meetings are largely occupied with religious conference with a 
view to the promotion of the spiritual life. The Syrian pastors 
and elders have shown themselves able to conduct deliberative 
bodies in a grave and orderly manner, and to yield gracefully to 
the voice of the majority. Thus far, the American missionaries 
retain their connection with their home presbyteries in the United 
States, and at the same time, by consent and request of the Syrian 
brethren, are regular members of the Syrian presbyteries, and 
will probably continue so until the native churches are fully self- 
supporting. There are twenty-eight churches with 2,600 mem- 
bers, and the average congregations are 5,600. 

Self-support is making good progress, but its great hindrance 
is the phenomenal emigration of Syrians to the United States, 
South America, Australia and the Transvaal. They have been 
emigrating for twenty years, and tens of thousands of the strong 
and enterprising young men have left their native land. Many 
of the churches are depleted and crippled, like the country 
churches in New England. Should the tide ever turn, and these 
emigrants return, the churches would soon feel the impulse and 

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94 Organization of a Native Christian Church 

enter on a new era of growth and self-support. It is an encour« 
aging fact that five of the educated native preachers who emi- 
grated to North and South America have returned to Syria, 
more than ever contented to remain here and full of enthusiasm 
for the cause of the Gospel 

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Abeih, 1846— Dr. De Forest's school for girls, 1847 — Simeon IL Cal- 
houn, '* The Saint of Lebanon " — Cornelius Van Alan Van Dyck. 

TWO institutions were begun during this period, the 
Abeih Seminary for boys under Dr. Van Dyck, No- 
vember 4, 1846, and Dr. De Forest's family board- 
ing-school for girls, in Beirut. The Abeih Seminary passed un- 
der the care of Rev. Simeon Calhoun, in 1849, and continued to 
flourish as the highest literary institution in Syria, until the 
Syrian Protestant Collie was opened in 1865. 

Dr. H. a. Db Forest 

The family boarding-school for girls in the home of Dr. and 
Mrs. H. A. De Forest began in 1847 ^^^ continued until 
Dr. De Forest returned to America in 1854. He and Mrs. De 
Forest had proved the capacity of Syrian girls to pursue a 
liberal course of education. Their cultivated graduates became 
wives and mothers, whose homes were distinguished in Syria for 
piety and high culture. Dr. De Forest insisted on teaching the 
English language to the young women, in order to open up to 
them the rich treasures of English literature. For years one 
could pick out the girls taught by Dr. and Mrs. De Forest, and 
some of them became eminent as teachers. 

In 1854 Dr. De Forest was obliged by failing health to relin- 
quish his work, and return to the United States. A nobler man 
never lived. Tall of stature, courteous and genial, with a voice 
of great depth and sweetness, a natural orator and a skillful 
ph3rsician, he was universally beloved and admired. During my 
first interview with him, in 1854, he gave me wholesome advice 
with regard to caring for health. He said, " Beware of exposure 


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to the Syrian sun. It is your enemy. Protect your head and 
the back of your neck. I went to Syria with an iron constitu- 
tion. I was wont to walk long distances at home without fear of 
sun or storm. I thought I could do it in Syria. As a foreign 
doctor I was in great demand, and walked through the narrow 
lanes in the suburbs of Beirut, in the deep sand and under a 
blazing sun with a small black hat and no umbrella. One day 
after a long, hot walk, I felt a strange sensation in the back of my 
head, and soon found I had a sunstroke. From that dreadful 
stroke I never recovered. For twelve years I have studied and 
taught and preached and practiced medicine, and never a week, 
without that agonizing pain in my head. Even now I cannot 
converse or read long without a return of the agony. I warn 
you never to trust the Syrian sun." I have now for fifty-three 
years acted on that advice, and have always carried an umbrella, 
and in summer worn also a pith helmet hat. I have tried to 
pass on Dr. De Forest's advice to successive generations of young 
men who have come to Syria from America and Europe. In 
three cases the advice was indignantly rejected. << I am not afraid 
of the sun. I have always been accustomed to walk in sun and 
rain with only a small cap on my head," etc. These three men 
all died in a very short time of sunstroke and brain fever.^ The 
direct rays of the Syrian sun on the back of the head of a Euro- 
pean seem to act like the X-rays or radium. 

Dr. De Forest and his accomplished wife were admirably fitted 
to train young women in piety, intellectual knowledge and a 
beautiful domestic life. The lovely Christian families in Syria, 
whose mothers were trained by them, will be their monuments 
for generations to come. In 1850, a report of Beirut station said, 
*' Unhappily, only one of our native brethren is blessed with a 
pious wife." At the present time there are nearly 1,300 women 
who are church-members in the bounds of the Syria Mission, 
and the girls of all sects are being taught in all the cities and 
many of the villages of Syria. All honour to the men and women 

^ These were volunteer English missionaries. One died at Bagdad, 
and two in the Lebanon. 

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The Saint of Lebanon 


who gave the first impulse to female education in Syria. Their 
labours have aided as much if not more than any others in the 
elevation and enlightenment of Syrian society. Dr. De Forest 
died in the United States in November, 1858, greatly beloved 
and r^^etted 

Rev. Simeon H. Calhoun, ^«Thb Saint op Lebanon" 
Mr. Calhoun was bom in Boston, of Scotch-Irish parents, 
August 15, 1804, and graduated at Williams Collie in 1829. 
While in college he was a sceptic and indifferent to religion, but 
the prayers of a godly mother, who had consecrated, him to Christ 
and to the missionary work at his birth, followed him, and in 183 1 
he was converted. While engaged as tutor in college he was 
noted for the peculiar simplicity and ardour of his piety, and for 
the great influence he exerted on the students. " His delight in 
the Scriptures was exceptional, and his remarks on the truths 
therein revealed were uncommonly suggestive and stimulating." 
He did not enter a regular theological seminary, but studied 
theology with those two giants, Drs. Griffin and Mark Hopkins, 
who constituted a theological faculty rarely equalled. In 1836 
he was ordained, and left the United States in November as an 
agent of the American Bible Society for the Levant. In 1843 he 
was appointed a missionary of the American Board. During the 
eight years of his work in Smyrna, Constantinople, Asia Minor, 
the Greek Islands and Greece, he cooperated with the missionary 
bodies, preaching in English and modern Greek, and was inde- 
fatigable in teaching, touring, and distributing the Word of God. 
On reaching Syria, in 1844, although forty years old and hav- 
ing passed the age when men can readily master a foreign lan- 
guage, his familiarity with the modern Greek aided him in 
stucfying the difficult Arabic language ; difficult on account of its 
guttural sounds and peculiar idioms. 

Dr. Van Dyck, in his " Reminiscences," states that " When the 
American Board deputation {Dr. R. Anderson and Dr. Joel Hawes) 
reached Smyrna, they found Mr. Calhoun quite ready to relinquish 
the work of Bible agent, and persuaded him to join the Syria Mis- 

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sion. He came to Syria with them on a tour of inspection. They 
recommended the opening of a seminary to be managed by 
Mr. Calhoun when he should join the mission, and after he had 
learned the Arabic. Mr. Calhoun took up his residence in 
Bhamdoun, and so steadfastly and perseveringly applied himself 
to the study of Arabic, that although somewhat advanced, he 
was, in a little over two years, able to teach and preach in 
Arabic." His teacher was Abu Selim, Yusef el Haddad of 
Tripoli, who knew nothing of Arabic grammar, but was a fine 
penman and full of anecdote and a great talker. If the deputa- 
tion did nothing more than secure Mr. Calhoun for Syria it was 
worth all the expense involved. 

During the civil war of 1845 between the Druses and Maro- 
nites, Mr. Calhoun summered in Bhamdoun, and used to ascend 
the high mountain ridge above the village and from under a 
walnut tree count the villages in flames. That jowz tree became 
known as " Jowz Calhoun," just as a conical marl hill, east of 
the village, where Mr. Beadle discovered a famous locality of 
fossil Ammonites, was known as Bustan Beadle, or <' Beadle's 

In 1846 he visited the United States, and at Braintree, Massa- 
chusetts, was married to Miss Emily Reynolds, a niece of 
Dr. Storrs. This estimable lady was the worthy companion of 
so noble, godly and consecrated a man, and made his home in 
Abeih a fountain of blessed influence for thirty years. She 
recently, November 4, 1908, died, in Natal, South Africa, where, 
with her daughter, Mrs. Ransom, she was labouring to lead souls 
to Christ. 

In 1849 he was called to succeed Dr. Van Dyck as principal 
of the high school or seminary in Abeih. To this work he gave 
the best years of his life. In the summer of 1864 he visited 
England, but did not return to the United States until June 10, 
1875. His lecture-room in Abeih was the centre of a mighty 
influence which is still felt all through Syria and the East He 
was clear in statement, gentle in manner, dignified, yet in sym- 
pathy with the poorest and most ignorant lad, patient and perse- 

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Simeon H. Calhoun 99 

vering. He was a scholar. His attainments were high as a 
classical scholar and as a mathematician. 

He was a theologian. He was a "Doctor in Divinity/' 
whether made thus by the universities or not. When this degree 
was conferred on him, he hesitated about receiving it, and finally 
wrote declining it, stating as a reason that it was at variance with 
the parity of the Christian ministry. His letter declining it was 
published, but by a typographical error, lie was made to say that 
it " was at variance with the ' purity' of the Christian ministry." 
This error caused him great distress, and he said to me, "Brother 
Jessup, perhs^ I had better have kept silence than to seem to 
make such a charge as that against my brethren." 

His depth and breadth of views on the great doctrines of Chris- 
tian theology have been attained by few, and can be attained 
only by those who, like him, draw from the fountain-head of 
the sacred Scriptures, and are taught by the illuminating Spirit. 
He often startled us with his fresh thoughts on old familiar sub- 
jects. Yet he had nothing about him of the dogmatic theologian. 
His own wide views of the many phases of truth kept him far 
from any approach to bigotry. On essentials he was firm as a 
rock and uncompromising ; in non-essentials his was the largest 
charity and the full liberty of the New Testament. 

He was an elTective preacher. His commanding presence, his 
pleasant voice and his earnestness of manner, were all calculated 
to give force to his words : but there was something in his preach- 
ing beyond presence, or voice, or earnestness. The simplest 
truths, enunciated in the simplest way, seemed to fall from his lips 
with power. 

The same things said by another would have made little if 
any impression. This has been remarked by comparative 
strangers, as well as by those who knew wherein lay the secret of 
his great strength. Christ seemed to be in him and to be seen 
through him. 

He was a great teacher. In America or England he would 
have been a Mark Hopkins or Dr. Arnold. Whether'the subject 
was algebra or astronomy or Greek or the Bible, he taught his 

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pupils. They gre>v under his teaching. His object in teaching 
was, first, to make wise unto salvation, and then to fit for. useful- 
ness. And he succeeded, as is proved by the large number of 
native labourers now in the field. 

He was a loving, sympathizing friend and brother, and the sor- 
rowing and troubled, whether foreign missionaries or native Chris- 
tians, looked to him for comfort in the day of trouble. 

He was a wise and prudent counsellor in our mission aflairs. 
With excellent business capacities, executive power and natural 
shrewdness, he could foresee with acuteness, advise with wisdom and 
conduct with decision. He was mission treasurer for many years, 
and used to say that he was not aware that there had ever been a dis- 
crepancy ol five paras (half a cent) in his annual accounts. 

After the massacres of i860, when Colonel Frazierwas British 
commissioner in settling the new regime of government in 
Lebanon, he made Mr. Calhoun literally the man of his counsel. 
And when Daood Pasha, the first Christian governor of Lebanon, 
entered on his duties, he often visited Mr. Calhoun in his house, 
to consult him on questions pertaining to the Druse nation. 

And the Druses, that brave, hardy, warlike, courteous yet 
mysterious people, trusted Mr. Calhoun implicitly, asked his ad- 
vice, and sent their sons to him for education. During the sum- 
mer of 1 87 1, when I was in Abeih teaching in the theological 
class with Dr. Eddy and Mr. Calhoun, a young Druse sheikh was 
killed by falling from a roof. A stately funeral was given him. 
Hundreds of white turbaned Druse sheikhs from villages miles 
away came to condole with the family. I went with Mr. Calhoun 
to express our sympathy. That great multitude were seated in 
concentric circles under a great oak tree. As we approached, 
they all arose and stood until we were seated. Then they all 
saluted us over and over again, <' Allah grant us your life instead 
of the deceased." " Allah spare to you your children." " The 
will of Allah be done," etc. 

No people can be more effusive in courteous and elaborate 
salutation than the Druses. When they were all seated, there 
was a great silence and all eyes turned to Mr. Calhoun. At 

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His Influence on the Druses loi 

length he spoke, " Whenever I see the dead body of a brother 
man, I am filled with indignation, yes, I may say hatred^ All 
seemed startled at this unusual remark from a man noted for 
calmness and self-control. " Yes," he continued, " with hatred 
of sin, which brought death into the world and is the cause of all 
our sorrows, troubles and woes. Why should we not hate sin, 
and love Him who knew no sin, but tasted death for every man ? " 
Then there was silence. At length a venerable sheikh began to 
discourse on the duty of patience and resignation, and the duty 
of entire submission to the will of Allah, in eloquent and beauti* 
ful Arabic, reminding one of Job or Moses or Abraham. 

When the war of i860 began, I was a guest in Mr. Calhoun's 
house in Abeih, and the Greek Catholic, Maronite and Protestant 
men all fled to Beirut. The women and children remained and 
brought all their valuables, money, jewelry and silks tied in 
bundles and threw them at the feet of Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun. 
They asked no receipt and did not even seal the packages and we 
took them and piled them in a closet. Two months later when 
the French army came up into Lebanon the Druses fell into a 
panic and brought all their treasures to Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun 
in the same confiding way, until all the treasures of Abeih were 
in " safe deposit " in their humble, unprotected house. During 
all those days of war and pillage, burning and desolation, I never, 
up to the time of my leaving for Beirut, saw Mr. Calhoun per- 
turbed or anxious. His placid face showed no sign of fear. The 
very peace of God filled his soul and the light of God shone in his 
face though '^ he wist not that his face shone." 

On one occasion later on, his face did betray real agony. 
Twenty-two hundred men had just been massacred through 
Turkish treachery, by the Druse army at Deir el Komr. The 
only men left alive were thirty Protestants of Ain Zehalteh who 
had taken refuge in Rev. William Bird's house. Mr. Bird, much 
against his will, had been compelled by the United States consul 
to come away to Abeih with his family. The next day, Thurs- 
day, June 2 1 St, was the massacre. That night the Druse begs 
in Abeih came to Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Bird and said, << Deir el 

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Komr is gone — the men all slain. None remain but those in Mr. 
Bird's house. You must go at once and bring them away. We 
will go with you, and hasten, lest the Hauran Druses, knowing 
that Mr. Bird's house is full of Christian treasure, should break in 
and kill your Protestants." Long before light they set out It 
was an agonizing three hours' ride to both these brethren, and 
more agonizing when they entered the town and rode over the 
corpses of Mr. Bird's old neighbours and friends. They arrived 
just in time. Those wild Druses of the Leja had brought a huge 
beam and were ramming the door. But the Druse commander, 
Bushir Beg, and his men drove them off, and Mr. Calhoun and 
Mr. Bird entered and found the thirty men alive. The Druses 
then took all of Mr. Bird's furniture and all the deposits and car- 
ried them to the Druse Khulweh or assembly house and guarded 
them securely. Then the two missionaries headed the proces- 
sion, and with a Druse guard, conducted these rescued men over 
to Abeih. The next day, Saturday, Mr. Calhoun alone, with a 
Druse guard, took these thirty brethren to Beirut. He came to 
my house, and as he opened the door, with a look of weariness 
and pain such as I never before saw in his face, exclaimed, 
" Brother Jessup, what does all this mean ? Truly God is speak- 
ing to us." He returned at once to Abeih and with Mr. Bird 
made daily trips to Deir el Komr bringing away on mules Mr. 
Bird's furniture and library and such women and children as had 
not been conveyed by the Druses to the seashore whence Eng- 
lish gunboats carried them to Beirut. On the 26th, Mr. Cal- 
houn wrote me, " I am weary." 

Years afterwards, AH Beg Hamady, one of the leaders of the 
Druse attack on Deir el Komr, told me why Mr. Bird's house was 
spared on that dreadful day of wrath. AH Beg was a haughty 
warrior. He led a regiment of rough-riders to the Crimean War 
and had the rank of colonel in the Turkish army. Twenty-five 
years after the massacre of Deir el Komr, in 1885, 1 called on AH 
Beg in Baklin, his home. He was a tall, stately man, with a white 
turban, a long beard, flowing robes, and received us with that 
beautiful courtesy for which the Druses are so famous. A 

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Deathbed Repentance 103 

young man of the family was then in the college in Beirut. He 
asked me, " Do you know why Mr. Bird's house was not attacked 
during the massacre of i860 ? It was because of the character of 
Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Bird. I saved that house and set guards to 
protect it" 

Years afterwards in Beirut a Druse called at my house one 
day before sunset, and said he brought a message from AH Beg 
who was ill and wished to see me. The messenger said, " Bring 
your New Testament (Injeel) with you." I hastened to the house 
with my Arabic Testament He was lying on a bed on the 
floor, bolstered up with cushions. Fixing his piercing eagle 
eye on me he said, '< I am a dying man. I honoured and loved 
Mr. Calhoun,* and he loved the Injeel. Read to me the passages 
he loved." I read to him the sweetest of the gospel invitations 
and promises. He listened like one hungering and thirsting. 
" Read more," said he, " read more. Is there pardon for a great 
sinner like me ? " I was deeply aifected, and pointed him to the 
Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. I led in 
prayer, asking God for Christ's sake to forgive him, and he re- 
peated the words after, me. After a long interview, at his re- 
quest, I left the New Testament with him, promising to call in 
the morning, and earnestly praying that the Saviour would 
reveal Himself to this dying warrior. The next day I went 
down to call on him, and met a long procession in the street 
*« What is this ? " I asked " The funeral of Ali Beg." Mr. 
Calhoun had been dead for nearly fifteen years, but I doubt not 
he welcomed to glory this aged man of war and blood, ransomed 
through their common Saviour Jesus Christ 

Mr. Calhoun went to the United States in 1875 on furlough. 
He spoke with great power at the General Assembly in Brooklyn, 
May, 1876. He had always expressed the hope that he might 
rest on Mount Lebanon, but he fell asleep in Buffalo. December 
14, 1876. A return to Syria was fully expected, but disease 
developed, and his fond desire of sleeping his long last sleep 
beneath the shade of the Lebanon cypresses was not granted. 
The return in the culminating years of his life to his native land 

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and the Christian Church of America was not» we are sure, with- 
out meaning in the plan of an unerring Providence. Mr. Calhoun 
was able before his health seriously failed to travel to a consider- 
able degree in the United States, to make many visits, and to 
address a number of the large and important assemblies of the 
Church of Christ at home. He thus gave the rich garnerings of 
his long and fruitful experience and the benefit of his profound 
wisdom to the Christian public in his native land, and cast the 
impress of his Christlike personality upon multitudes who 
listened to his words and looked upon his benign countenance. 
It has seemed to us that the sphere of his life's usefulness was 
widened in this summing up of his career by his personal pres- 
ence in the home land at its close. 

Had he died in Lebanon the Druses and perhaps others would 
have made his tomb a shrine of pilgrimage, so greatly was he 

He was called " The Saint of Lebanon," and " The Cedar of 
Lebanon" from his holy life and noble, commanding figure. 
God called him to bear the cross and labour in the earthly 
Canaan, and then called him to wear the crown in the heavenly 

Dr. Cornelius Van Alan Van Dyck 

No American name is more revered and loved in Syria and 
the Arabic-speaking lands to-day than that of Cornelius Van 
Alan Van Dyck. 

He was born in Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York, 
August 13, 1 8 18, studied medicine at JefTerson College in 
Philadelphia, and sailed for Syria as a lay medical missionary in 
February, 1840, when twenty-one and a half years of age. A 
Christian woman in Hornellsville, New York, remarked to Dr. 
Harris in 1903, that when she was a young girl in Kinderhook, 
she heard a friend say one Sunday, " It is discouraging that at 
our communion services to-day, only two persons were received, 
one a negro woman and the other a young man named Van 
Dyck." Yet this young man was one day to reflect greater 

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Cornelius Van Alan Van Dyck 105 

honour on his native church and town than even the famous 
Martin Van Buren of Kinderhook, and will be remembered and 
revered when the most of his Kinderhook cotemporaries are for- 

He was of Dutch descent, and owing to his father's financial 
misfortunes, was left to gain his education largely through his 
own efforts. When young he was a lover of nature, and pre- 
pared an herbarium of all the plants of his native country. At 
eighteen he lectured on chemistry to a school for girls. 

He sailed from Boston, January 12, 1840, in the bark 
Emma Isadora^ of 200 tons. The vessel was ice-bound in 
Boston harbour for three days. There were nine missionaries, 
three married men and Dr. Van Dyck, a bachelor of twenty-one 
and a half years, and three other passengers. ** There were no 
decent accommodations for passengers. The cabin was about 
ten by thirteen feet Small pens called staterooms had been 
* knocked up ' in the after hold, and five married couples were 
crowded into this ' Black Hole.' The doctor slept in the deck 
house over the companionway. The table was over the stairs, 
resting on the railing, so as to shut off what little air could get 
down below that way. On a previous voyage to the West Indies, 
coffee had been spilled in the hold, and decayed, and produced 
a bilge, the smell of which was simply indescribable. There is 
nothing vile enough to compare with it. The agent of the 
Boston mission house had bought as his sleeping outfit a small 
blanket, too short at both ends, and as thin as a lady's veil, and 
a thin cotton spread, and this for a winter voyage. But for a 
buffalo robe he brought with him from home and a thick over- 
coat, he might have suffered. He was young and in robust 
health and did not mind matters at all. But the case was 
different with those five poor ladies, who were shut up below, 
and compelled to endure the smell of the bilge. A strong 
current of air drew down from the foresail into the forecastle, 
whence it drew through the hold to the cabin, taking the whole 
abominable compound of stinks, and keeping it up, on those 
poor creatures below, whence it came up through the companion- 

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io6 Educational Foundation Stones 

way under the dining table in the deck house. You may imagine 
the result! 

''They reached Smyrna February 26, 1840, in forty-five days 
from Boston, and were received into the families of Messrs* 
Temple and Riggs. Mr. Adger was absent. Mr. S. H. Calhoun 
was stationed at Smyrna as agent for the American Bible 
Society. He was absent on duty in Athens. Some time in March 
they took Austrian steamer for Beirut, calling at Larnaca, 
Cyprus, where they met Messrs. Ladd and J. Thomson and also 
Mr. Hebard, who was en route for Constantinople. 

" On the 2d of April they anchored off Beirut and were met 
by Messrs. William M. Thomson and E. R. Beadle, who came 
alongside. Though they had a clean bill of health, they were 
landed with all their goods and boxes (which in his case consisted 
of a small box of books and a trunk) in the quarantine, and kept 
fourteen days in durance vile in a leaky house. Then at the 
end of the fortnight some of them were taken into Dr. Thomson's 
family and some into Mr. Beadle's. Dr. Eli Smith was then in 
the United States, Mr. Hebard in Constantinople, and Messrs. 
Lanneau and Sherman in Jerusalem. Miss Tilden was teaching 
with Mr. Beadle in the Beirut Boys' Seminary." * 

Arriving in Syria April 2, 1840, he began at once the study of 
Arabic which he kept up all his life, with remarkable success. In 
May, 1840, he made an extensive tour in Northern Syria with Dr. 
Thomson, and in July proceeded to Jerusalem to have the medical 
care of the missionary families. Returning to Beirut in January, 
1 841 , he made the acquaintance of Mr. Butrus Bistany, a recent con- 
vert to the Protestant faith from the Maronite sect These two 
young men formed a warm attachment Bistany was a scholar and 
an industrious student, and their congeniality of taste bound them 
together their whole lives. At Mr. Bistany's funeral, in 1883, he 
was requested to make an address, but was so overcome that he was 
only able to say with deep emotion, " Oh, friend of my youth !" 

Dr. Van Dyck studied Arabic with Sheikh Nasif el Yazigy,the 
poet, and Sheikh Yusef el Asir, a Mohammedan Mufti, graduate 
* Quoted from Dr. Van Dyck's " Remmiscences.'' 

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Van Dyck's Mastery of Arabic 107 

of the Azhar University in Cairo. The former was Dr. Eli 
Smith's Arabic assistant in Bible translation for eight years, and 
the latter assisted Dr. Van Dyck also for eight years in the same 
great work. He soon mastered the best productions of Arabic 
poetry and literature, and by his wonderful memory could quote 
from the poetry, proverbs, history and science of the Arabs in a 
way which completely fascinated the Syrian people. They said, 
*' He is one of us." He had no peer among foreigners in his 
knowledge of the Arabic language and literature. This taste for 
language was natural to him, and was a divine gift and a divine 
preparation for the g^eat work of Bible translation to which in due 
season God called him. 

On the 23d of December, 1842, he was married to Miss Julia 
Abbott, whose mother, the widow of the British Consul-General 
Abbott, had married in August, 1835, ^^v. William M. Thomson. 

In June, 1843, he removed with Dr. Thomson and Mr. Butrus 
Bistany to Abeih in Lebanon, fifteen miles southeast of Beirut^ 
where he founded the Abeih High School, which was afterwards 
known as the famous Abeih Seminary, and which was under the 
care of Rev. S. H. Calhoun for twenty-six years, from 1849 to 
1875. During his six years' stay in Abeih, he prepared in Arabic 
school-books on geography, algebra, geometry, logarithms, plane 
and spherical trigonometry, navigation and natural philosophy. 
These books, afterwards revised by himself, continue to be stand- 
ard works in the Arabic language. 

His geography of Turkey, Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine, is 
a thesaurus of graphic description, and full of apt quotations in 
poetry and prose from the old Arab geographers and travellers. 
The people delight in it and quote it with admiration. I found 
it to be one of the best possible reading books in acquiring a 
knowledge of the Arabic vocabulary. 

In 1847 he was a member of a committee with Drs. Eli Smith 
and G. B. Whiting to prepare the appeal in behalf of anew trans* 
ladon of the Bible into the Arabic language, which we have al- 
ready quoted in the chapter on Bible translation. From this 
time until 1857 ^^ ^i^ed in Sidon in a house *' on the wall," witb 

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his father-in-law, Dr. Thomson. Their field extended to T)rre 
and Tiberias and to Mount Hermon and even Damascus. And 
they made extended tours, preaching and healing the sick. Their 
house in Sidon was open to all, and their evening Bible classes 
were thronged with young men. 

When he removed from Abeih to Sidon, he expressed great 
joy at the prospect of giving himself more completely to the work 
of preaching. But his linguistic tastes led him more and more to 
lay up great stores of Arabic learning. 

Dr. Eli Smith died January 1 1, 1857, having laboured eight years 
in the translation of the Scriptures. In the chapter on Bible 
translation we have given a full account of Dr. Van Dyck's suc- 
cess in finishing it. It was itid^^A finished. But few errors, and 
those of secondary importance, have ever been found in this won- 
derfully accurate translation. It is the enduring monument of 
the scholarship, taste and sound judgment of the two eminent men 
whom God raised up for the work. 

In 1865 he went to New York to superintend the electrotyping 
of the whole Bible, to save the enormous expense of setting up 
the type whenever an edition was printed. While in America he 
gave instruction in the Hebrew language in Union Theological 
Seminary in New York, and was offered a permanent professor- 
ship, which he declined, saying, " I have left my heart in Syria 
and thither I must return." He returned to Beirut in September, 
1867, and in addition to his regular duties as editor of the press 
and of the weekly journal, the -AT^jAr^, he accepted the professor- 
ship of pathology in the medical department of the Syrian Protes- 
tant College, and continued in this o0ice until 1883, when he re- 
signed. During the sixteen years of his connection with the 
college, he published a large Arabic volume on pathology, an- 
other on astronomy, and a work on chemistry. He aided in the 
foundation of the observatory, and brought out a telescope which 
he afterwards sold to the college. Together with Drs. Post, 
Wortabet and Lewis, he conducted regular clinics in the St. John's 
Hospital of the Knights of St. John of Berlin. 

After his resignation from the Syrian Protestant College, he 

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The Van Dyck Jubilee 109 

accepted an invitation from the Greek Hospital of St. George in 
Beirut and continued to attend its clinics for ten years, and aided 
largely not only in raising its character, but in inducing the 
wealthy Syrian Greeks to contribute to its enlargement and its 
higher efficiency. In 1891, the year of his jubilee of fifty years 
in Syria, the Greek citizens placed a white marble bust of Dr. Van 
Dyck in the open court in the midst of the hospital as a proof of 
their appreciation and gratitude. It was the first memorial bust 
erected in Syria in modern times, and the Greek Society have 
shown great liberality and sincere gratitude by setting it up to com- 
memorate the labours and life of an American Protestant mis- 
sionary physician. Several eloquent addresses were made, and 
Greeks, Mohammedans, Maronites, Protestants, Catholics and 
Jews united in the celebration. 

During the latter years of his life he published in Arabic eight 
volumes of science primers and a fine volume, " Beauties of the 
Starry Heavens." His last Arabic work was the translation of 
** Ben Hur," which was published after his death by two of his 
pupils at the " Muktataf " Press in Cairo. 

Dr. Sarroof states in a brief Arabic memoir, that Dr. Van 
Dyck was most sensitive with regard to the honour due to Dr. 
Eli Smith, and would never allow the translation of the Bible to 
be spoken of as his alone. When Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, 
called upon him in 1877 he complimented him on his translation 
of the Bible. Dr. Van Dyck at once replied, " Perhaps Your 
Majesty has not been informed that I am not the only trans- 
lator. The work was begun by Dr. Eli Smith, and after his death 
I completed it." He scorned flattery and once on receiving a 
visit from a deputation of learned sheikhs and Ulema from Da- 
mascus, the leading sheikh, a noted scholar, began to praise the 
doctor in efflorescent Oriental style, and asked, " What gifts and 
talents must a man have to attain such learning as you have ? " 
The doctor curtly replied, " The humblest may attain to it by in- 
dustry. He who strives wins." 

On April 2, 1890, his jubilee was celebrated by his friends, 
native and foreign. Committees had been formed in Syria and 

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Egypt, and subscriptions raised. On the day of his jubilee depu- 
tation after deputation visited him, presenting addresses and tokens 
of esteem. The native committee presented him with a purse of 
;£'50o. The American missionaries gave him a Gothic wahiut 
case containing all of his Arabic publications, twenty-six in num- 
ber, elegantly bound. A photographer presented him a large 
picture of himself in an Oriental frame. The managers of the 
Greek Hospital gave him a silver coffee set, and a valuable 
gift was presented him from the Curatorium of St John's 

Among the addresses presented to him on his jubilee were 
those from the Central Committee, from the Orthodox Greek 
Patriarch of Antioch in Damascus, Dr. Edward C. Gilman of the 
American Bible Society, the Curators of St. John's Hospital, the 
Syrian Evangelical Society, the session of the Beirut Church, the 
Greek Bishop of Beirut, the Alumni of the Syrian Protestant Col- 
lege, the Syrian Young Women's Society, the Y. M. C. A., the 
undergraduates of the Syrian Protestant College, and an elaborate 
address from his brethren of the Syrian Mission read by the Rev. 
Dr. W. W. Eddy. 

In 1892 Dr. Van Dyck received the honorary degree of 
L. H. D. from the University of Edinburgh. 

After a brief illness, he entered into rest on Wednesday morn- 
ing, November 13, 1895. The public sorrow was perhaps un- 
parallelled in Syria. He had requested that no word of eulogy 
be uttered at his funeral and the request was strictly complied 
with. It is an old custom in Syria for the poets to read eulo- 
gistic poems at funerals, and no Oriental custom was more dis- 
tasteful to him, so that literally a score of poets were greatly dis- 
appointed. But a few days after, on Wednesday, November 30th, 
by general request, the writer pronounced a funeral discourse to 
a large congregation. His admiring friends, however, sent to 
the local press, and to his old pupil, Dr. Iskander Barudi, not 
less than forty-seven elegiac poems, which were published in a 

His old pupil and fellow teacher. Dr. John Wortabet and a 

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In Memoriam ill 

few associates, erected over his grave a monument of red Aber- 
deen granite suitably inscribed in both English and Arabic : 

Cornelius Van Alan Van Dyck 

Bom in Kinder hook , August 77, 18189 

Died in Beirut ^ November 77, i8gSf 

4fter labouring SS years among the sons of the 

Arabic language. 

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Life in Tripoli 

The glory of the Lebanon — A missionary home — Coffee and poisons 
— ^The fellahin — Geology in Syriar-Sketches — My first sermon — ^A 

AS will have been seen, my personal connection with the 
mission did not begin until nearly the end of the second 
period of the mission's history. Before and after the 
annual meeting already spoken of, I visited several stations in 
Mount Lebanon, — Bhamdoun, Ain Zehalteh, Deir el Komr and 
Abeih. In Ain Zehalteh I heard my colleague, Mr. Lyons, 
preach his first Arabic sermon, and then took my first meal in a 
Syrian home, that of Mr. Khalil Maghubghub, the teacher. As 
I had never seen the thin Arab bread called *' markoak," which 
is baked in round sheets about fifteen or eighteen inches in di- 
ameter, I took a loaf and spread it on my lap supposing it to be 
a napkin. On my asking Mr. Lyons why they had no bread, he 
replied with a smile, " Because they eat their napkins ! " I ex- 
claimed, and the teacher on hearing of my mistake joined us in a 
hearty laugh. On every visit since that time to Ain Zehalteh 
during these fifty-three years, I am reminded of my eating my 

On April 23, 1856, we went up by French steamer to Tripoli, 
the station to which I had been appointed by the mission as a 
colleague of Mr. Lyons. We were accompanied as far as Tripoli 
by the Aikens, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Calhoun who were en route 
for Hums. Mrs. Wilson was already in Hums. 

I was soon domesticated with Mr. and Mrs. Lyons in Tripoli. 
That city had a reputation for the aristocratic pride of its people, 
both Moslems and Greek Christians. Mr. Wilson and Mr. Foote 
had made many warm friends there. Only one man, Mr. An- 
tonius Yanni, whose father was a Greek from the Island of 


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Cedars of Lebanon 113 

Miconos, had become an open Protestant. As American vice- 
consul he was obliged to be courteous to Americans, much 
against his religious prejudices^ but by degrees, read the Bible 
with Mr. Wilson from beginning to end, and came into gospel 
light and liberty. He used to tell with much amusement of the 
horror with which he received a religious tract from Dr. Thom- 
son in the Meena, and then, holding it at arm's length, ran a 
mile and a half to his home in Tripoli and burned it in the 
kitchen. He then went to the priest and confessed his sin. The 
priest fined him three piastres (twelve cents) for having received 
the tract, and forgave him, but then bethinking himself, asked, 
" What was the name of the tract ? " Yanni replied, " Asheat al 
Ahad," a selection of Psalms to be read Sunday evening. "Ah," 
said the priest, " those were the Psalms of King David, and to 
burn them was a great sin." So Yanni paid three piastres more 
and went away much perplexed at the logic of the priest 

As the summer drew on, the heat increased, and we walked 
out at evening through the shady walks among the orange 
orchards, enjoyed the luscious apricots and plums and often gath- 
ered shells along the seashore, to send home to our friends. I 
studied Arabic about six hours daily, with three teachers, Abu 
Selim of the Meena, the Port of Tripoli, who had taught Mr. 
Gdhoun in 1841, Nicola Monsur, and Elias Saadeh, a young 
Greek, who in after years came out boldly as a preacher of the 
pure Gospel. The scenery of the plain of Tripoli with its luxu- 
riant gardens is beautiful. But the crowning glory of the scene 
is that goodly mountain, Lebanon. It rises in the distance, range 
upon range, at its base bordered with gardens and orchards, with 
here and there a stone-walled village, hardly distinguishable at 
this distance from the white rock of the mountain ridges, while 
further up is bleak, rocky desolation. Towards the southeast, the 
highest range recedes, sweeping eastward in a majestic curve, 
and returning again towards the southwest, thus embracing in an 
amphitheatre of grand dimensions, the famous valley of the 
'* Cedars of Lebanon," while to the north of this valley, and al- 
most due east from the city, the summit of Jebel Makmel sits 

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114 L^^^ ^^ Tripoli 

enthroned above all in snowy magnificence. Here the range of 
Lebanon proper terminates, and towards the northeast you see 
the immense precipice, where that mountain abruptly sinks to a 
level, and sweeps away to lose its identity among the shapeless 
hilb and undulating plains, which extend to the Orontes, and 
border the '' entrance of Hamath." You may gaze at the scene 
for hours and days and not be weary. You may view it at sun- 
rise, when the sun bursts forth in all its glory from the snowy 
summits, revealing peak after peak and valley after valley, dis- 
solving the mists, reflecting the rays of the monarch of heaven 
from the sheets of ice which encircle the brow of this monarch 
of earth, and throwing long spectral shadows down the dark 
ravines ; or at evening when the last rays of the setting sun array 
the clouds in crimson and purple and gold, and then the rugged 
forms of the mountain peaks, bathed in a flood of mellow light, 
seem to lose their sternness, gradually fading from view in a halo 
of indescribable glory ; or at midnight, when the full moon bekms 
down so serenely and brightly through the transparent Syrian 
air, that you can almost forget the absence of the sun, and the 
tall diffi stand out clear and cold, and awfully silent, overwhelm* 
ing the mind with a new sense of the presence of Him who made 
the heaven and the earth, and the everlasting mountains, and be- 
fore whose glory even the " glory of Lebanon " shall be a thing 
of naught ; and though this be oft repeated, you will not be too 
weary to wonder, or too indiflerent to praise. Here you become 
conscious of that indescribable something in mountain scenery 
which exalts, and at the same time humbles the spirit, and the 
earnest wish begins to bum within your soul, that it may be 
yours to live and die beneath the shadow of Mount Lebanon. 

My first duty was language study. We had no good diction- 
aries. My principal one was Freytag's quarto Lexicon in four 
volumes, the meanings all given in Latin, and studying Arabic 
with such helps was a weariness to the flesh. We had also little 
reading primers, and reading-books, with the geography and 
arithmetic published at the American Press. The chief difficulty 
was obtaining suitable teachers. My first teacher was Abu 

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The Study of Arabic 1 1 5 

Selim Diab, who was recommended by Dr. Van Dyck as having 
been the teacher of Mr. Calhoun in Lebanon^ in 1845. He knew 
no grammar and taught me more blunders than I was aware of 
at the time, but his chief excellence was story-telling, in which he 
used correct Arabic. When it became necessary to study gram- 
mar, we secured Sheikh Owad, a fanatical and conceited Mos- 
lem» who loathed the necessity of teaching the sacred Arabic 
grammar to a foreign ** infideL'' 

The mission at that time had no definite rules for Arabic study 
and no examinations of new missionaries, so that each new re- 
cruit was obliged to stumble along as best he could. Some mis- 
sionaries for this reason acquired habits of false pronunciation 
which adhered to them all their lives. One of my chief advan- 
tages in acquiring the colloquial was almost daily association with 
Mr. Yanni who was the most voluble and rapid talker I have met 
in the East. Once able to understand him, I could understand 
everybody. I began Arabic writing with Abu Selim, and during 
my six months' visit to America the following year I kept up 
Arabic correspondence with him. But it should be stated that 
an Arabic letter in those days consisted of three parts : a long, 
flowery, poetical introduction covering one-third of the page, a 
similar conclusion covering the last third, and a brief letter in the 
middle. Important business, however, was written in a postscript 
diagonally across the right hand bottom of the page, and this 
was the part generally read by the receiver. Ever since, I have 
written my Arabic letters myself. A missionary who cannot 
himself write a letter in the vernacular is greatly crippled and 
embarrassed in his work. 

The boards of missions now, having learned by experience, in- 
sist upon a definite course of language study and rigid examina- 
tions, failing in which the new missionary is expected to resign. 

The houses occupied by the missionaries in those days were 
the old-fashioned native houses in the cities and mountain vil- 
lages. The roofs generally leaked and the waUs were soaked by 
the winter rains, so that the walls were often discoloured by green* 

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li6 Life in Tripoli 

ish fungus. In the mountain villages the houses were dark, with 
heavy earthen roo&, mud floors and few windows. Glass win- 
dows were almost unknown when I came to Syria. The first 
labour of a missionary in occupying a mountain house was to 
have openings made in the stone walls, and window frames and 
sash brought up from the cities on the plain. These facts seem 
almost incredible to the modern Syrian dwellers in the cities and 
the better villages of the Lebanon range, where the houses are 
rapidly becoming thoroughly Europeanized, — dry, airy and com- 

My first home in Tripoli was homely enough. For a year be- 
fore my marriage and for six months after it, I enjoyed the hos- 
pitality of my dear colleagues, Mr. and Mrs. Lyons.* But in the 
fall of 1858 we hired a house which stood near the site of the 
present Greek Church. Only a few rods to the south of this 
house was the Massaad house where Mr. Wilson had lived be- 
fore, and where my brother lived afterwards. Between the two 
was a ruined Moslem wely (or tomb) surmounted by a moss- 
g^own dome and overgrown with brambles and stunted fig 
trees, — ^the haunt of snakes. In 1855 Mr. Wilson caught in a 
box rat-trap a snake five feet long, and after my brother took the 
house, his wife, on going to her room one evening, saw a huge 
serpent hissing on the iron bars of the open window. 

Our house consisted of two rooms on the.ground floor, open- 
ing into a vegetable garden, and two rooms on the roof of a 
neighbour's house, reached by a flight of thirty stone steps, with 
a kitchen and servant's room under the stairs. One of the rooms 
on the ground floor, a long, low, narrow, rakish aflair, had been 
used as a stable, and it required days of work to shovel out and 
wash out the accumulated filth. The broken stone floor was 
mended up, rat-holes filled with stone and mortar, two windows 
cut in opposite walls, the walls whitewashed, poison applied to the 
woodwork, long strips of white cotton cloth nailed to the black- 
ened and half-rotten ceiling, — and our parlour became the admi- 
ration of the boys and young men who crowded in on stormy 
winter nights to warm themselves by the cook-stove in the lower 

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1. Basket-making in a Lebanon village. 2. Feeding the fatted sheep 
and baking bread. 3. Winnowing the grain by tossing it in the air. 
4. Spreading grapes on the ground to make raisins, in a Lebanon vine- 
yard. 5. Ain Zehalteh fountain. Washing the fatted sheep. 6. Druze 
watchman in a Lebanon vineyard. 

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A Missionary Home 117 

end of the room. To reach our bedroom we crossed a paved 
yard, sheltered by umbrellas when it rained, then up a covered 
staircase and across a flat, uncovered roof. The following fall we 
removed to the Tromb house on which three new rooms had 
been built of the porous sandstone, plastered on the outside with 
white mortar. After the first hard rain in November, these walls 
absorbed water like a sponge, and the inside walls were soon 
coated with mould of many colours, — ^yet we wintered there, and 
bore the discomforts as best we could. 

My second summer in Duma, in 1858, my wife and I spent in 
the house of a Greek priest, Soleyman. It was an antique moun* 
tain house, consisting of two long parallel rooms, separated by a 
wall of kowar (woven reeds plastered with clay, and divided into 
sections or bins, holding wheat, barley, cut straw, and various 
household stores). This wall extended only three-fourths of the 
height of the ceiling. No other house was obtainable at that 
time. The floors, as usual in those days, were of clay, which 
was washed over weekly by the women and rubbed down with a 
smooth pebble, thus killing the flees and renewing the surface. 
Over this were spread mats which were a protection. As the 
peasants leave their shoes at the door, and use no chairs or 
tables, the floors did good service. But our chairs and tables 
soon broke through the crust of clay, to the dismay of the 
priest's wife, who was a very patient, hard-working woman.^ 

The only roads in those days were caravan tracks and bridle- 
paths. The first wheeled vehicle known in Syria was in 1861, 
and that on the French diligence road to Damascus, the only 
carriage road in Syria until about 1865 a little branch road was 
built to Baabda, the winter seat of the Lebanon government. 
Since that time roads have gradually been built The carriage 
road to Sidon was not finished till 1902 and the completion of 

'Since those days the village has been completely transformed. Emi- 
grants to North and South America have returned enriched and have 
built beautiful homes, with tiled roofs, glass fronts and marble floors, 
T3ring with city houses. Indeed this holds true of the Lebanon villages 
for a hundred miles along the mountain range. Everywhere the people 
say, '* This was done with American money." 

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1 18 Life in Tripoli 

the one to Tripoli is now (1909) in the near future. For twenty 
years a road has been surveyed from Sidon to Judaideh. Suc- 
cessive kaimakams have taxed the people grievously for building 
this road. After building a few hundred rods the kaimakam 
would be removed to another district, carrying the road funds in 
his pocket. Similar jobbery and robbery were carried on for many 
years by the governors of Latakia and Hamath who reported to 
the government progress in taxing the people and building the 
road which has never yet been completed. 

There was one institution in Tripoli, which still exists in many 
cities in Syria, which was a source of stupefying wonder to the 
average small boy. I refer to the vice-consulates of the Euro- 
pean Powers. France and England were represented by foreign- 
ers, but Russia, Austria, Italy, the United States, Belgium, Den- 
mark and Switzerland, by Oriental Greeks and Catholics. In 
the simple life of those old days, ** to be a vice-consul was 
greater than to be a king." On feast days, especially the Turk- 
ish official holidays, they marched with stately tread through the 
narrow streets, preceded by armed, gaily caparisoned Moslem 
kavasses or janizaries, with their tall silver-headed staves rattling 
on the pavement, the pompous dragoman or interpreter in the 
rear, a fringe of small boys all around, like the American boys 
following the elephant The ordinary Moslems looked on with 
bitter disdain, but they were careful to keep silent lest they draw 
on themselves the wrath of czar, emperor or king. Feast days 
were innumerable. In the Greek Church the people are obliged 
to refrain from work for about fifty holy days in addition to Sun- 
days, so that the working men lose one-sixth of their working 
days. To make the round of calls needed on a first-class feast 
day, either Moslem or Christian, was a strenuous business. In 
those days to refuse coffee or sweets was to imply that you 
feared poisoning, and twenty coffee cups of black Arabic coffee 
were a peril to the health. The old way of getting rid of an 
obnoxious pasha or condemned criminal or secret enemy was to 
put corrosive sublimate in coffee, and I have been often warned 
! in going to a certain place to avoid drinking coffee. Once in 

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Arab CoSee 119 

Hasbeiya, when visiting at the house of good Deacon Kozta, the 
Turkish kaimakam called. He was a new governor, and every 
honour was shown him. Coffee was made as a matter of course. 
But Kozta, in order to relieve any suspicion on the part of His 
Excellency, brought in the coffee himself, in a little tin boiler on 
a tray. The tiny cups were on the tray, inverted. He took a 
cup, turned it over and over, to show that nothing was in it, and 
drank it himself. Then taking the same cup he filled it from the 
boiler and handed it to the governor, who drank it cheerfully. 
Ordinarily, sugar was not used, partly because in those days it 
was rare, and partly because it resembled the white powdered 

Only quite recently Dr. Mary P. Eddy was warned not to 
drink coffee in a certain bigoted Maronite district, lest harm 
befall her, but that old custom is rapidly going into disuse. 
Since the chemical laboratory of the Syrian Protestant College 
was established, the rulers of Mount Lebanon have frequently 
had analyses made of the stomachs of men dying suddenly, 
and poisons have been detected and the culprits punished, so 
that it was no longer easy to poison men through a cup of coffee. 
Coffee is the national beverage of the Arab race and indeed of 
the whole Eastern world, and the coffee-house is an orderly, quiet 
place, only broken in upon by the voice of the professional 
hakawati, or talk maker, who reads or recites, with violent 
gesticulations, the glory of Antar the Arab Hercules, or some 
other ancient lay. In those early days, drunkenness was confined 
to Oriental Christians and Nusairiyeh. The Moslems, as a rule, 
were total abstainers, and this fact, in spite of their other vices, 
has tended to maintain their virile vigour as a race. But Euro- 
pean civilization has brought in its train the fashion of drink, and 
many Mohammedans high and low have yielded to its fascina- 
tion. The ruling pashas provide their guests with champagne 
and costly beverages, and the lower classes of Moslems vie with 
Greeks and Catholics and Armenians in drinking that poisonous 
liquor known .as arack, distilled from barley or grapes, which 
crazes the brain, and is already responsible for three-fourths of 

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120 Life in Tripoli 

the crime of the Turkish Empire* When I came to Beirut in 
1856, there was one grog-shop kept by an Ionian Greek. The 
paslia closed it, but the Greek consul opened it as being under 
the protection of a Christian power. The bark I came in 
from Boston to Smyrna had a cargo of New England rum. 
Commerce of this kind has done its best to ruin the people of 
Turkey, as it is now decimating the tribes of Africa. The strong 
ground for temperance taken by American missionaries in 
Turkey has given them great influence among the Moham- 
medans, and the drinking habits of certain European Christians 
have proved to be a serious stumbling-block. 

In July, 1856, we removed from Tripoli to Duma, a Greek vil- 
lage of the Northern Lebanon Mountains. It is about 2,600 feet 
above the sea, with beetling clifTs rising around it on the east, south 
and west, while the mountainside slopes down to the north into 
the deep ravine of Nahr el Jowz, beyond which another range 
rises between the ravine and the plain of Tripoli and the Koora. 
Mr. Lyons and I leased the house of Simaan Abden Noor Abu 
Ibrahim, for ten dollars for the summer. I made a mountain bed- 
stead before leaving Tripoli, as I brought out a kit of carpenter's 
tools, and it only broke down once or twice during the summer. 
The floors of the two-roomed house were of mud, rubbed smooth 
with a round stone, and under the mud were reeds and stones, 
and often the legs of bedsteads and chairs would pierce through the 
floor to the dismay of the occupant Mr. and Mrs. Lyons cur- 
tained ofT one-half of their large room with an American flag for 
a bedroom. The other half served as parlour, dining-room and 
servant girl's room. My big room with a window was divided 
into my bedroom, the storeroom and cook's room. As Mr* 
Lyons' room had no window, a special contract was made with 
the owner to put in a glass window. This required the tearing 
down some twelve feet of the thick stone wall, which was three 
feet thick. The roofs were of huge logs covered with large 
stones, thorns and earth. Owing to the building of fires for 
heating and cooking for many years on flat round stone moukadies 
or hearths on the floor, with no chimneys, the smoke had covered 

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Summer in Duma 121 

the ceiling wifh a densely black shining coat of soot, which was 
claimed to have a preservative effect on the wood. The effect on 
the eyes of the people, of sitting in a dense cloud of wood and 
tobacco smoke for hours, every winter, day and night, could be 
seen in the almost universality of eye diseases. We took our 
teachers with us and I used to go to the grove of snobar pines 
east of the village, and study in the sweet resinous air of the grove. 

Every feast day the house was crowded from morning 
till night with those hardy peasants and ironmongers. High up 
in the southern cliffi were the mesabik or iron smelting furnaces 
or kilns, where iron ore was abundant and the forests were cut 
down for fuel. The rough little pigs were then brought down to 
the village and reheated on charcoal fires, and hammered out into 
plates for making horseshoes and nails. The iron was exceed* 
ingly malleable and the Duma Greek smiths supplied all Northern 
Syria with horseshoes and nails. Their industry was admirable 
and we could hear the ring of their anvils all night long as they 
took turns at the hammer. 

But in a few years the forests were gone, the furnace fires went 
out, and the smiths bought Swede's iron in Beirut and Tripoli in 
bars, bent them by heat and brought them on mules to the vil- 
lage. The Arab horse and mule shoe is a plate of iron covering 
the entire foot, a very useful plan on these rocky roads. The 
sanitary arrangements of the village, as in all Lebanon villages at 
that time, were simply shocking. And the orchards and gardens 
around it were unspeakably vile. We had to teach our landlord 
over again, what Mr. Wilson had taught him three years before, 
and our insistence on decency and cleanliness seemed to him quite 
a piece of Franjy folly. Years later, when Rustem Pasha, an 
Italian by birth, became governor of Lebanon, he made a great 
sensation by ordering every house in Lebanon to provide a 
decent outhouse, but he enforced the rule, to the great benefit of 
the people. I once made a tour in Coele-Syria, visiting some 
twelve or fifteen villages, and there was not in one of them an 
outhouse,, except in one house in Tulya. 

One of the eccentric characters of Duma was Hajj Ibrahim, 

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122 Life in Tripoli 

the Egyptian doctor, the impersonation of conceited ignorance. 
Nothing surprised him. He had heard it all before. We told 
him of Robinson Crusoe, and loaned him the Arabic translation 
of the book.^ Yes, he heard of Crusoe when he was with the 
army of Ibrahim Pasha, in Yemen. He doctored by bleeding 
and giving various decoctions to the poor peasants. An old 
man eighty-five years old was dying of physical exhaustion. The 
Hajj bled him in both wrists, until he expired. I was sent for, 
as I lived near by. Seeing the old man actually expiring, I asked 
the Hajj what he had done. '' I bled him in the right arm for 
belghum (phlegm) and in the left for dem (blood) and the only 
trouble is that I did not take quite enough blood." As it was 
too late to protest, I kept silence. One day in the summer of 
1858, the Hajj called in his usual pompous and af&ble style and 
requested the gift of some '' journalat " or American newspapers. 
Supposing that he wished them for wrapping-paper, we gave him 
some copies of the New York Weekly Tribune^ for which he ex- 
pressed great gratitude. Some three weeks after, he came again, 
effusive with thanks, and said he could not express his obligation 
to us, and insisted that we go with him to his vineyard and eat fresh 
grapes and figs. On passing his house he obliged us to go in 
and take a cup of Arab coffee. As we entered he repeated his 
thanks for the papers so earnestly that we asked what use he had 
made of them. <' Look here," said he, and he led us to an 
earthen five gallon jar in the corner of the room, in which he had 
dissolved the papers into a pulp and, adding olive oil, had fed 
them to his patients, and, said he, '< The medicine works like a 
charm, nothing like it, I thank you with all my heart" We 
looked on solemnly, and then after coffee was served, went to his 
vineyard, where he loaded us down with fruit. 

Years after, in November, 1864, 1 was a guest of Mr. W. E. 
Dodge in New York, just after the reelection of Abraham 
Lincoln, and the Republican glorification dinner was at the 
Metropolitan Hotel. Mr. Dodge took me as his guest, and in the 
waiting-room he introduced me to Horace Greeley, editor of the 
* This had been printed in Malta. 

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The " Tribune 'V as Medicine 123 

New York Tribune. I told him the above incident, and of the 
powerful medical efficacy of the Tribune. He shook with laughter 
and at length he inquired, ** Do tell me, how did it act ? Was it a 
cathartic or an emetic ? " I was unable to answer, but judging 
from the vigorous health of the Dumaites, it must have been a tonic. 

The simple-minded fellahin of Duma were in some respects a 
puzzle to me. Not one of the villagers had ever been educated. 
The priest could read and write but the people never had a chance 
to learn. One feast day, Mr. Lyons and I told the crowd gathered 
in our house of the cannibals who eat B'ni Adam (man), and that 
they had killed and eaten a missionary, a Khowaja. Instead of 
looking sad, they all burst into uproarious laughter, and one of 
them, named Ghuntoos, pulled off his tarboosh, threw it on the 
ground and roaring with laughter exclaimed, ** And did they eat the 
signora (the lady) too ? " It is difficult to give a psychological 
explanation of such conduct. 

That first summer in Lebanon was a continued delight Arabic 
study, magnificent scenery, intensely interesting geological strata 
and fossil remains, meeting with the people, and trying to express 
myself and to understand their salutations and stories, the priests 
and monks, the muleteers, the donkeys and camels and flocks of 
sheep, the simple, sturdy life of the peasants and their unbounded 
hospitality, their readiness to argue and discuss, and to hear the 
European news, their pride in their rocky terraces, the result of 
the industry of ages, their Abrahamic plows and threshing- 
floors and bread making, their great acuteness and at the same 
time extraordinary credulity, their religious views and their stock 
arguments against other sects than their own, gave one constant 
themes for study and a longing desire to do them good. Duma 
is on a mountain slope surrounded by high clif& of cretaceous lime- 
stone, full of interesting fossil shells. It was a pleasure to me to 
collect these fossils and send them to America* 

Geology in Syria 
How I have enjoyed geological research these fifty-three years 
in Syria 1 The range of Mount Lebanon, 100 miles long, is of 

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124 Life in Tripoli 

cretaceous limestone with strata of recent sandstone and lignite 
and dykes of basaltic rock. Anderson of the Lynch expedition, 
Dr. E. R. Beadle, Dr. W. M. Thomson, Rev. William Bird of 
Abeih, Lartet, Conrad, Fraas, Noetling, C. E. Hamlin, E. Hull, 
Max Blankenhorn and lastly Prof. R. P. Whitefield and my son- 
in-law, Alfred E. Day, of the Syrian Protestant College, have de- 
scribed most of the cretaceous fossils of Mount Lebanon and the 
Jurassic fossils of Mejdel Shems, south of Mount Lebanon. The 
geological structure of Lebanon has had much to do in determin- 
ing the history and diversifying the habits of the inhabitants. 
Two ranges of mountains running north and south, parallel with 
the seacoast and separated by deep cut valleys, extend, the west- 
erly one all the way from Asia Minor to Kadesh Barnea, and the 
easterly one from the region north of Baalbec to the gulf of 
Akabah. Jhe limestone soil formed by the disintegration of the 
richly fossiliferous cretaceous limestone strata, and the black soil, 
formed by the crumbhng of the volcanic rocks, are constantly 
renewed, needing little fertilizing to make them productive. Sun 
and rain seem to be all the fertilizers needed in the great part of 

The indurated limestone of Lebanon and Palestine furnishes 
solid building stone and has developed a hardy race of stone-cut- 
ters and builders, quite different from the indolent dwellers on the 
great plains where the want of stone compels the people to build 
houses of adobe or sun-dried brick. So also the character of the 
warlike Druses of the Leja (Trachonitis), east of Jordan, seems to 
have been made more independent by the frowning deep cut de- 
files and tortuous passages in the basaltic dykes which form their 
home, as did the Black Hills the home of the Modoc Indians. In 
these narrow, crooked, deep gorges a few men can stand against 
hundreds, and their frequent successes in cutting to pieces bodies 
of Turkish troops have added to their untamed ferocity.' The 
architectural stones of Syria are varied and valuable. There is 
the recent sandstone of the coast overlying the limestone of 
which most df the coast cities have been built for ages, the cream- 
coloured indurated limestone of the temples of Baalbec and Pal- 

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Which runs from B'sherreh to Tripoli. 

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Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Geology in Syria 125 

myra, the orange Nerinean limestone of the hills near Mar Rukus» 
of which Post Hall of the Syrian Protestant College has been 
built, the lithographic limestone of both Lebanons, the ribbon 
stone of Deir el Komr, and the crystalline trap rocks of Northern 
Syria and of the giant cities of Bashan and Banias. The city of 
Hums is built of black basalt and its streets are beautifully paved 
with cubical blocks of the same material. 

Fossil fish abound in the white lithographic limestone of 
Northern Lebanon at Sahil Alma, and Hakil. Oyster shells are 
found (Ostraea Syriaca) in beds and ledges through the ranges of 
Lebanon. There are also fossil bivalves and univalves in endless 
variety, in Ehden, Duma, Abeih, Deir el Komr, at Shweir, Tel 
Wakid, Bhamdoun, Aaleih, Mukhtara, Mejdel Shems, and many 
other places* There are Ammonites, Strombus, Area, Nerinea, 
Nerita, Cerithium, Scalaria, Natica, Corbula, Cardium, Trigonia, 
Hippurites, Perna, Lima, Trochus, Terebratula, Nummulites, and 
whole mountains of the Oolite. I began early in my life in Syria to 
collect fossils, and finally gave my entire collection to the Sjrrian 
Protestant College. Dr. W. M. Thomson, author of " The Land 
and the Book," was enthusiastic in collecting, and told me of 
many localities. The unique collection of our beloved Rev. Will- 
iam Bird has also been secured by the Syrian Protestant College, 
and Prof. Alfred E. Day is engaged in determining and describing 
those not hitherto described. Once I sent a camel load of quartz 
and calcite geodes from the hill east of Baaklin to the college, 
and another ^time I sent from Tell Kelakh, on the wagon road to 
Hums, nearly half a ton of beautiful pillars of columnar trap by 
wagon to Tripoli where the missionaries forwarded tliem to the 
college cabinet in Beirut. One summer I sent by cart from Jum- 
hoor, on the Damascus Road, to the college cabinet a huge block 
of Nerinean limestone, containing thousands of these beautiful 
spiral shells. The block is about four feet long and two feet and 
a half wide and eighteen inches thick. Dr. D. Bliss had it pol- 
ished on three sides, and it constitutes a lasting monument of the 
most ancient pre- Adamite inhabitants of Syria. One of my first 
horseback rides in Syria was to a then well-known locality of 

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126 Life in Tripoli 

quartz geodes above Baabda, about an hour's ride from Beirut on 
horseback. Our party consisted of Dr. Eli Smith, mounted on 
his little white horse. Rev. J. E. Ford on his own steed, and Mr. 
Hurter, the printer, with us new missionaries. Bliss, Aiken, Dr. 
Haskell, Lyons and myself on beasts of low degree, hired from a 
Moslem khanajy in Beirut. Mr. W. W. Eddy joined us at 
Baabda, and we climbed up to the locality on the chalky hill, 
where I filled my little borrowed saddle-bags with the quartz 
geodes, lined with beautiful, clear crystals. I wrapped them in 
paper and tied them with string to keep them from injury. 
From the duhr or summit, we rode down cautiously the steep de- 
scent to Kefr Shima, where Mrs. Eddy had kindly invited us to 
dinner. On our return towards evening to Beirut through the 
olive and mulberry orchards, we rode at a moderate, dignified 
pace, but as we returned to the broad sand road between the pine 
groves, suddenly a white streak seemed to flash by me, and my 
old horse which had no doubt '' seen his fast days " grew restless. 
Mr. Lyons, my nearest companion, exclaimed, " There goes Dr. 
Smith on his Whitey," and in a moment every horse broke into 
a gallop. As my poor steed began to gallop, the saddle-bags be- 
gan to wallop, flying up and down and flapping like wings, 
pounding his ribs and making an unseemly rattling, until the bags 
began to rip and tear, and I was obliged ingloriously to fall to the 
rear and enter the city, last of the train. But I landed my geodes 
safely in Mr. Lyons' house and soon after shipped them to friends 
in America. 

It has generally been my custom in making long journeys, in 
which mules are required to carry beds, tents and provisions, to 
pick up stones during the day, take them in my saddle-bags to the 
tenting place, and wrap them in bed bundles in the morning. At 
times I have known muleteers to wonder at the increasing weight 
of the loads, but the average muleteer cares little for weight as 
long as the two sides of the loads balance. Perhaps you will ask. 
How could you find time, in making missionary tours, to stop and 
pick up specimens ? It did not take up much time, but it re- 
lieved the tedium of long rides, and thus the dreariest and most 

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The White Man's Burden 127 

rocky regions became full of interest, and I found constantly new 
beauties in the variety of fossil remains and in the marvels of 
geological upheaval 

He who has an eye for beauty will see it. A botanist will revel 
in what to another is a wilderness of weeds. I have found de- 
light in hot plains and stifling valleys and chilling heights, be- 
cause I found wonders of stratification, and colossal mountains 
tipped over and the strata lying at all angles from vertical to hor- 
izontal. In April, 1 856 Just eight weeks after landing in Syria 
I went to Tripoli and Duma with Rev. David M. Wilson. He 
was a hearty Tennessean, a plain, blunt man, with a big heart, 
and mighty in the Scriptures. My object in going was to secure 
a house for the summer in Duma and visit Gharzooz. We hired 
packhorses in Tripoli of Mohammed a Muslim. We had neither 
saddles nor bridles, only pack-saddles with rope stirrups and rope 
halters. Going over a breakneck road without getting our necks 
broken, we slept at Duma at the house of Abu Ibrahim where 
many missionaries have since summered. 

The next day we rode to Gharzooz,, and when half-way, we 
stopped on a high ridge and left our horses with the muleteer. 
Mr. Wilson^ knowing my taste for geology, said he would take 
me down to the Fossil Fish locality at Hakil. So down we 
walked, carrying our simple lunch, in a blazing sun, down, down 
to the bottom of the deep gorge, then through Hakil, where a 
Greek blacksmith showed us the way to the quarry. We found 
some good specimens, and went back and rested at the black- 
smith's house. Then up we went, my pockets full of stones, ' 
and when I reached the top, my clothes were soaked with per- 
spiration and a cold north wind was blowing. We mounted and 
set out, and soon I was chilled through and reached Gharzooz with 
blinding headache. This taught me a lesson, never to walk up- 
hill in travelling in Syria. A young man once said to Dr. Eli 
Smith, '^ Doctor, why don't you dismount going up a steep hill 
and ease your horse ? " Dr. Smith replied, " That is what I have 
a horse for, to carry me up." Walking up-hill in Syria at any 
season is dangerous, if followed by riding or standing in a wind 

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128 Life in Tripoli 

I would cordially recommend to every young man going out 
as a missionary to study some branch of natural science. Let 
him pursue it in his missionary field as a means of recreation, 
mental invigoration, relief from the routine of regular duties, 
and a means of gaining enlarged ideas of the power, wisdom and 
goodness of God, who created alike the Book of Nature and the 
Book of Revelation. As Hugh Miller says, " There are two rec- 
ords, and both were written by one hand." These records are 
the Mosaic and the geologic, that of the pages and that of the 
ages. I think my life has been prolonged by the outdoor 
exercise involved in studying the rocks of Syria. 

Sketches of Syria 

May, 1856 — ^The coast of Syria has just been visited with one 
of the most violent storms ever known at this season of the year. 
The rainy season generally begins in November and ends in 
March or April ; and from that time onward a shower is rarely 
known on the seacoast The amount of rain which fell during 
the past winter was not as great as usual. In the month of 
April there was but little rain, and by the middle of May the 
weather became settled. The owners of mulberry gardens had 
built their frail summer-houses of reeds and matting in the open 
air ; the process of feeding the silkworms was considerably ad- 
vanced, and all were anticipating a fine yield of silk to compensate 
for the losses of last season. But on Wednesday, May 28th, the 
air was thick with a dark cloud bank over the sea, and distant 
thunder, towards the south and on the mountains, threatened a 

Before midnight the rain fell in torrents. The thunder and 
lightning were fearful. The whole atmosphere seemed one sheet 
of flame. On Thursday the storm continued with such violence 
that the streets were flooded, and the beautiful river Kadisha 
rose to a height unprecedented at this season of the year. Above 
the city, it swept over vineyards and orchards, destroying prop- 
erty, and in one of its branches a little girl and boy were en- 
gulfed in the water and drowned Towards evening, we walked 

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A Syrian Tempest il^ 

out upon the bank of the river. It was a terrific scene. The 
roar of the waters dashing through the narrow arches of the 
stone bridge, and thence over the dam eight feet in height — 
now almost concealed by the volume of the water — was really 
fearful. The river was rushing with mad violence in its haste to 
mingle with the sea. Its surface was covered with grass, sticks 
and shrubs, uprooted by the mountain torrents, and brought 
from distant heights not far from the snowy valley of the*' Cedars 
of Lebanon." But the most remarkable feature of the scene was 
the colour of the water. It was of deep red colour, like blood, 
and the angry tide seemed crested with a bloody froth. The 
origin of this discolouration is in the ochreous soil which abounds 
along the sides of Lebanon, and is washed down by the rains. 
The river seemed literally " laden " with it, as the Arabic term 
for a rise in the river imports, and at the point where the waters 
of the river mingle with the sea, the blue waters were discoloured 
by this deep red colour of the stream for a great distance, the 
outline between these two seemingly inharmonious elements 
being visible for miles. This singular colour of the water, 
common to many of the streams of Lebanon, gave rise to that 
mythological story connected with the river Adonis (now the 
Nahr Ibrahim), between Tripoli and Beirut. Lucian says of the 
river Adonis, that ** at certain seasons of the year, especially 
about the feast of Adonis, the river assumed the colour of blood, 
in sympathy for the death of the beautiful hunter who was killed 
by a wild boar on the neighbouring mountains." 

Nothing could be more natural for an uncultivated, imaginative 
people given to creature worship, than the ascription of such an 
origin to this remarkable colour of the water. Even more en- 
lightened minds have been filled with amazement at the phenom- 
enon. The feast and worship of Adonis, which were observed 
extensively in ancient Phoenicia, like other s)^tems of idolatry, 
stained and contaminated the character of the Jewish nation in 
the tumultuous da)rs of their decline, even as the earth stains the 
pure water of an agitated river, and were known to the prophet 
EzekieL The fabled death of Adonis had given rise to the 

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130 Life in Tripoli 

annual commemoration of the event, when the Phoenician maids 
mourned his death with every display of grief. The great feast 
continued some time, consisting of two parts — a season of 
mourning and a season of joy. As this occurred yearly in public, 
the Jewish women soon learned to unite in the celebration of an 
event so well calculated to enlist their sympathies, especially as 
it is an Oriental custom, preserved until the present time, for the 
women to lament the death of a young man with most extrava- 
gant manifestations of grief. Thammuz is the Hebrew name for 
Adonis, and when the prophet Ezekiel was shown the various 
abominations of the house of Israel, he regarded this '' weeping 
for Thammuz " as the greatest of all. 

In allusion to this is Milton's language, when summoning up 
the various " devils," 

*' who were known to men by various names, 
And various idols through the heathen world. . • 

** Thammuz came next behind. 
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured 
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate,. 
In amorous ditties all a summer's day ; 
While smooth Adonis from his native rock 
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood 
Of Thammuz yearly wounded." 

And in his "Hymn of Christ's Nativity," in speaking of the 
destruction of heathenish superstition, allusion is made to the 

*' Peor and Baalim 
Forsake their temples dim. 
With that twice battered god of Palestine, 
And mooned Ashtaroth, 
Heaven's queen and mother both, 
Now sits not girt with taper's holy shine ; 
The Libyian Hammon shrinks his horn, 
In vain the Syrian maids their wounded ThammuM mourn.** 

The same superstitious imagination which transformed the 
muddy stream of Lebanon into the blood of Adonis also invested 

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The Adonis Myth 131 

a mountain flower of Lebanon — the scarlet Adonis — with a 
similar mythic character. This flower, which abounds on Mount 
Lebanon in the spring, was said to have sprung from the blood 
of Adonis, and 

''From shape and hue and odour 
Grieved for Adonis/' 

But enough of this strange, yet beautiful myth. The storms 
which have deluged the country and discoloured the waters of 
the Kadisha, in Tripoli, giving rise to this allusion to the past 
were also a present reality, and were exceedingly destructive of 
life and property. In Beirut the storm continued a whole day. 
Three men were killed by lightning, one had his beard burned 
off, and the printers in the America Mission Press felt the shock 
of a heavy stroke which passed down the lightning-rod. Near 
Sid9n, three men were killed by one stroke. A tree was struck 
within a few yards of the house of Rev. Mr. Eddy at Kefr 
Shima. During this one day three-fourths as much rain fell as 
during the whole previous winter. Large quantities of merchan- 
dise along the shore of the harbour at Beirut were swept into the 
sea and were destroyed. It was a memorable storm, and will 
afford material for many a story and conversation among this 
gossip-loving people. The old Moslems gathered in crowds at 
sundown along the shady banks of the river, and discussed the 
event with declarations of submission to the «« will of God," 
which would be quite commendable were they not inspired by a 
heartless fatalism. 

June 7, 1856 — There are no newspapers in Syria. Th^ near- 
est approach to one is the Miscellany, published occasionally by 
the missionaries in pamphlet form. An Arabic newspaper has 
also been recently commenced in Constantinople but it is little 
known here and its circulation is quite limited. Hence news in 
Syria is traditional to an extent which is quite unpalatable to us 
as Protestants, to say the least. Whatever of local news is afloat 
is so encumbered with *' new versions " and exaggerations among 
a people not specially attached to the truth, that it is necessaiy 

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132 Life in Tripoli 

to wait several days before the exact facts can be ascertained 
We have just had proof of this. 

A day or two since, it was currently reported that a Maronite 
had been imprisoned for cursing the name of Moses, one of the 
prophets of the Koran. To-day we learn from authentic sources 
that it is otherwise. A Maronite, a man of bad reputation even 
among his own sect, took occasion, when in the company of sev- 
eral Moslems, to curse most violently the name of Jesus Christ. 
They were greatly enraged, and immediately obtained his arrest, 
and he now lies in prison, awaiting orders from Constantinople, 
whither the governor of the city has written, requesting authority 
for his execution. The aggravation of the offense consists in its 
being a curse against the name of one of the six great prophets 
of the Moslems : Adam, Noah, Moses, Solomon, Christ and Mo- 
hammed being of equal dignity in this respect. If the man had 
cursed the name of God Himself, it would have been considered 
a light matter, not worthy of the slightest notice, and what every 
Moslem is guilty of every day if not every hour of his life. Nor 
did the crime consist in its being an insult to Christ as God, for 
the Moslems deny the divinity of Christ ; but it was because it 
was a curse upon One who is " the greatest of the prophets next 
to Mohammed." The reason of this is a distinction which the 
Moslem makes : " If you curse God," says he, " God is merciful 
and will forgive; if you curse a prophet he cannot forgive ; there- 
fore you are to be punished by the sons of the Prophet." This 
is a gross and monstrous perversion of sacred truth, and ^ the 
" mercy of God " is made the general apology for every species 
of blasphemy and profaneness. It enters into the very texture 
of society, forms a seemingly inseparable element in conversation, 
and it is almost impossible to converse with a Moslem without 
hearing the name Allah in every breath. Whether this blasphe- 
mous Maronite will receive any further punishment than a 
month's confinement in a dark, damp, loathsome dungeon, re- 
mains to be seen. The position of the Sultan with regard to re- 
ligious liberty, will, of course, prevent a decree of death ; but it is 
a great offense in the eyes of the Moslems, and they demand a 

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Moslem Respect for Christ 133 

great punishment. What a disgrace to the name of Christianity, 
that one who is called a Christian should be punished by the 
enemies of Christianity for blaspheming the name of our Divine 
Redeemer, whom they esteem only as a prophet and a man. 
Truly, one does not wonder that Moslems despise such a Chris- 
tianity I Yet the nominal Christians of Syria are proud, ignorant, 
and self-sufficient. Oh ! fallen, fallen Syria I Corrupted, marred, 
disrobed of thy ancient glory! Crushed to the earth by ten 
thousand leaden weights of form and superstition, until thy once 
pure throbbing heart has ceased to beat. Physical symbols speak 
forth in living eloquence thy glory and thy fall I 

Yonder snowy peak of Lebanon, pure, serene as light itself, 
lifts its awful form, ancient and majestic as thine own glorious 
past ; while from his base bursts forth a turbid river, stained as it 
were with blood, sweeping away in its progress the lives and 
tenements of men, and discolouring with its ruddy tide the pure 
blue waters of the sea — and this is thy present, this thy fall, fair 
Syria ! But is there no future ? Is there no resurrection from 
thy moral death ? 

As certainly as the waters of yonder river mingle with the sea, 
and yonder sea ascends in unseen vapour, again to mingle with 
the sky ; so certainly shall the day of thy glory come again, and 
thy people rejoice in the light of a preached, believed and be- 
loved Gospel I And this is thy future, " For the mouth of the 
Lord hath spoken it." 

Duma, Mount Lebanon, Syria, August ig, 1856. 
My dear Father : 

In accordance with our plan mentioned in a previous letter, and 
suggested no less by the interesting nature of the scenes to be visited 
than by a regard for our own health, we set out this morning from our 
mountain home in Duma, for the Cedars of Lebanon and the Ruins of 
Baalbec. When one has been applying himself constantly to books and 
study for a long time in this climate, a kind of nervous weakness comes 
upon the system, bringing with it an indifference to mental pursuits 
which the experience of missionaries in years past, and our own brief 
experience, proves to be most effectually relieved by a change of air and 

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134 Life in Tripoli 

occupation. This is found in Syria by travelling over the mountains, 
and we are just beginning a journey which will continue for a week. 

Setting out upon a journey in Syria is far different from anything you 
have ever known, unless it were in those early days in Montrose history 
when all travelling was on horseback, and the lawyers accompanied tl^ 
judges from town to town, carrying their baggage in saddle-bags. I 
think a Syrian missionary would make a very good Western pioneer. 

This morning we had no railroad tickets to buy, no depot to reach, 
no carriage to put in order, no harness to perplex us, and no smooth 
plank road before us to effeminate our tastes and unfit us for the steep 
ascents of life. The first business in a journey is to provide animals. 
Lorenzo has a horse which Mrs. Lyons will ride. We must have then 
horses for Lorenzo and myself, a mule for Shehedan and Mennie each, 
and mules to carry our beds, bedsteads, kitchen apparatus, provisions 
and tents. He is not a wise traveller who n^lects his overcoat, white 
umbrella, drinking cup, straps, strings, papers, drawing-paper (if he can 
sketch), geological hammer (if he be given to scientific research), mar- 
iner's compass, spy-glass, pamphlets for pressing flowers, and a full 
supply of clothing adapted to the coldest and hottest extremes of weather. 
The pocket Bible, hymn-book, Arabic Testament and Psalter are quite 

The muleteers, having agreed the night before to be ready at sunrise, 
appear at that time, but without mules enough, and we were delayed 
until nine o'clock. Sjrrian muleteers are men of a character sui generis. 
They are like the Cretans of whom the apostles speak, proverbially 
faithless, and if one makes extensive calculations based upon their word, 
he will suffer the consequences. For our saddle animals they brought a 
fine mare, and a little ash-coloured, sleek-skinned mule which we thought 
best Lorenzo should ride as the mule was not strong enough for me. 
At a little before nine we set out. The " Cedars " are a little north of 
east from Duma, but in order to cross the fearful ravine which lies to 
the northeast of us, we had to make a gradual descent for an hour in a 
northwesterly direction and then ascend again three hours before we 
were out of sight of our own village. With the burning sun upon our 
heads and slow-paced animals, it was tedious enough. Mennie carried 
little Mary in her arms on the back of the mule. Arab women ride on 
mules without a side saddle or stirrups, having a cushion on the top of 
the pack-saddle, and keeping themselves from falling by holding on to 

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Through the Country 13^; 

a rope which secures the cushion in its place. It is not surprising that 
they sometimes fall, especially when carrying an umbrella and a child, 
and travelling over a Motlnt Lebanon road. Mennie was thrown before 
we had been two hours on the road. In descending the Duma moun- 
tain, we passed terraces of mulberry, fig and grape, and the cotton 
plant. Irish potato, Indian corn, tobacco, beans, squashes, and egg- 
plants were growing side by side in great luxuriance, while the hedges 
were covered with great clusters of ripe blackberries. This is the season 
of figs and grapes, both of which are now in their prime. How I would 
delight to welcome you to these beautiful gardens and vineyards and 
show you the tempting clusters of large white and purple grapes, and 
the red and white figs which melt like honey on the tongue. These are 
the native luxuries of Syria, and the season of vintage is the jubilee of 
the Mount Lebanon peasantry. 

After descending the mountain, passing the old convent of Mar 
Yohanna (St. John) where two poor ignorant monks eat and drink 
and sleep, we reached the beautiful level valley, about a mile and a half 
long and an eighth of a mile wide, through which flows a little river of 
clear cold water, irrigating the large fields of Indian com, which seem 
80 much like home, that I almost forget that I am in Syria. The 
fragrance of the tassels and silk in the morning breeze was almost equal 
to a visit to the old farm at home. But how soon the scene changes. 
Leaving the beautiful valley, we thread our way through a dirty village 
of the Metawilehs, and find a street so narrow that the baggage animals 
are compelled to return and find another route. We then ascend the 
mountain towards the village Kefoor — passing a large stone sarcophagus in 
the field, a ruined convent with its old oak tree, the almost universal ac- 
companiment of a ruin in Syria. 

You would be interested in the geological character of this goodly 
mountain, which we are rapidly ascending. We are now riding over 
strata of limestone rock all of which slope upward from the sea to the 
mountain top at an angle of between twenty and thirty degrees. Oc- 
casionally you come to a bed of iron ore, a vein of whitish yellow sand- 
stone, or a trap dyke, and then come back again to the original lime- 
stone rock. These trap dykes, or masses of igneous rock, seem to stand 
like monuments on a great battle-field, telling the history of Lebanon in 
language not to be mistaken. Here is a vast black mass of trap, stand- 
ing all alone among the shattered masses of the white limestone strata, 

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136 Life in Tripoli 

seeming to exult in a consciousness of strength and to rejoice at the 
havoc it has made. And perhaps it would thus tell its own story : 
<' Long, long ago, when the sea slept on the face of yonder mountain 
summit, and all these rocks reposed beneath its cr3rstal waters, I was a 
molten, shapeless mass in the very centre of the earth. Heaving, rest- 
less, burning for distinction, I asked for a commission to do as others 
had done, in breaking up the surface of the earth. My request was 
granted. And forth I came, seething, bubbling, heaving up the mighty 
rocks, breaking through the crust of the earth, while the sea foamed 
and boiled, and dashed away in wild confusion as I raised on my shoul- 
ders the vast range of Lebanon. You see yonder trio of mountain 
peaks, Hermon, Sunneen, and Makmel. On each of those the strata lie 
horizontal, and from the precipices at their sides were broken off those 
huge cliffs which now slope down to the east and west, forming a kind 
of parapet of defense on either side, as the great centre of the range was 
raised steadily up from unknown depths below. This black mass upon 
which you now stand extends but a few rods on the surface, and then 
again the white limestone seems to be the prevailing rock. But you 
will find again a few furlongs away a vaster extent of my own fiery sub- 
stance, and journey where you will on Lebanon, you will find every- 
where proofs of my presence, fragments of my shattered body. Yon 
may think me insignificant, perhaps a mere phenomenon. But go down 
along my black crystalline system — ^follow one of these pentagonal 
columns, and after descending many thousand feet far below this lime- 
stone, which on the surface makes such a magnificent display, you 
will still wonder at my vastness and strength ; and when you approach 
the region of perpetual fire, you will feel my throbbing pulse and 
understand that the same great force which, under the direction of the 
great Creator of the Universe, first upheaved mighty Lebanon and 
made it the glory of the earth, is till working far beneath the surface, 
and in its giant pulsations shakes the solid crust with earthquakes and 
devastates it with liquid volcaqic fire. Now you may learn that I am 
Lebanon, for I elevated these giant ranges, and now sustain them upon 
my scarred and blackened body. Now I am hardly noticed by the 
hastening traveller, while yonder lofty white cliff elicits his admiration 
and enjoys an immortal name. Learn from my experience that one 
may labour and another reap the fruits of his labour. One may toil 
and suffer, and another receive the praise. For I, who constitute the 

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The Black Trap's Soliloquy 137 

great mass of the earth, am comparatiyely unknown, while this superficial 
film of limestone strata, which I have toiled to shatter and upheave, 
dwells in sunshine above the clouds, clad in a mantle of glory, a name 
and a praise in the earth." 

In such unspoken language have these rocks discoursed to me as I 
have journeyed along to-day on the toilsome ascent of Lebanon. We 
are now on our way to the cedars which are sublime in their antiquity, 
and to Baalbec which is equally interesting from the strange mystery 
which hangs about its origin, but here are rocks, older and more vener- 
able than either ; rocks on which the cedars grow, and from which Baalbec 
was first built. The cedars are but the growth of a day, and Baalbec is 
but the child of an hour, compared with these rock-ribbed mountains, 
ancient as the sun. 

But we must journey on. After reaching the summit of the range 
northeast of Duma, and in a southeasterly direction from Tripolii 
we have a magnificent prospect on every side. After looking at the sea, 
the southerly mountains, Tripoli, and the coast sweeping in a sharply 
defined curve towards Latakia, 3rou turn and gaze towards the cedars. 
There they lie, a little dark green clump of trees five hours or nearly 
fifteen miles away. On the east, north and south of them the great sum- 
mits of Lebanon, smooth and round as the shaven head of a Maronite 
monk (begging pardon of the mountains for the comparison), look down 
in silence on the scene, while towards the west, the amphitheatre opens 
upon the sea far away and far below. The mountains are so lofty and 
grand that this little cluster of evergreen cedar seems like a mere spot of 
moss on their rocky sides in the distance. But these are the cedars and 
we will journey on, hoping soon to stand under their ancient boughs 
and enjoy their sweet, refreshing shade. 

It is now two o'clock p. m., and our muleteers, who are paid by the 
day, seem determined to lengthen the road, and by delays innumerable 
contrive to disappoint our hopes of spending the night at our place of 
destination. We give them notice, however, that if they do not get 
through we shall not pay them for more than one day for the journey 
from Duma to the cedars. This stirs their latent energy, but they 
finally fall back again, and we are compelled to pitch our tent in an open 
field, near a little fountain. On our way, we saw in the afternoon the 
farmers in one field reaping and threshing their grain, and in another, 
flowing and sowing the wheat just taken from the threshing-floor. The 

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138 Life in Tripoli 

season is so short on these heights, six or seyen thousand feet abore the 
sea, that harvest and seed-time come in the same week. The great part 
of the wheat in Sjrria is winter wheat. On the plains between Lebanon 
and Anti-Lebanon (called the Bookaa) they sow their wheat later as 
there is little snow, but here they hasten to put in the seed before the 
cold winds and the driving mountain storms prevent all outdoor labour. 
As we came through the wheat fields to-day, the little girls engaged in 
the harvest would bring a handful of wheat to our horses, and expect a 
present. The custom is peculiar to this portion of Lebanon, and some 
of our men who came from Southern Sjrria were quite offended by it, 
thinking it a disgrace to the people. Yet we gave a little coin to the 
children, and I thought it by no means so great a disgrace as these Arabs 
seemed to think. The mountaineers of Lebanon are an industrious, 
hard-working people, but they are exceedmgly ignorant. When the 
Gospel shall have taken hold of the people, as it has in America, there 
will be a style of character developed her^ which will be truly noble and 
commanding. The Arab mind has capacity enough. It nec^s the light 
of truth, education and elevation. As it is now, the great part of the 
women think that they have no souls, and the men treat them like 
slaves. One learns from such a state of things how suggestive an index 
of the degree of the civilization and moral elevation in a country is the 
position of woman. 

I must not forget to allude to one of the notable things of to-dajr's 
experience. Many people think that the ** Cedars of Lebanon '* are 
found in but one place. This is a mistake. On our road to-day, we 
have passed thousands of young cedars, and some of considerable size, 
all growing vigorously. They are green and beautiful, identical in 
bark, leaves, and cones with what I have seen and heard of specimens 
of the true cedar. To-morrow will decide. 

Wednesday, August 30th — This morning we arose early, struck our 
tents, ate our breakfast, mounted, and were off for the Cedars. They 
were in sight all the time, yet we were nearly two hours in going about 
in a zigzag course among the little hills, or rather, rounded knolls, 
which abound in the vicinity of the cedars. The ground was covered 
with fragments of basaltic rock and iron ore, fossils an<^ crumbling lime- 
stone. There are wheat and barley fields within twenty rods of the 
ancient trees. As you approach the cedars, you are astonished at their 
almost entire isolation. There is hardly a tree visible for miles, except' 

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Ancient B'Sherreh Grove of Cedars of Lebanon. They are surrounded 

by a wall built by Rustem Pasha, Governor of Lebanon. 

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The Cedars of Lebanon 139 

log those which grow in the villages scattered here and there down the 
valley towards the sea. There is certainly but one other tree to my 
knowledge within two miles. The surface of the ground is of a light 
yellow colour, the prevailing stone being limestone, and a more arid, dry, 
uninviting soil could hardly be conceived. Thorns and thistles abound. 
There are great thickets of a dwarfed species of the barberry high up 
under the ledges near the summit of the loftiest mountains. There is 
one peculiar species of thorn (for almost every shrub on Mount Lebanon 
produces thorns) which grows in little mounds, about a foot in diameter 
and perhaps eight inches high, of a pea green colour and covered with 
beautiful flowers. The flowers are dry like silk paper, and are very 
tempting, but the moment your hand approaches them it is met by in- 
numerable thorns or spines like needles, which teach you circumspection 
in the future. 

We are now entering the ancient grove of the cedars. The muleteers 
are far behind and in the still, sweet air of the morning, we enter the 
sacred shade. Sacred indeed — ^but not as these superstitious people be- 
lieve, on account of any sanctifying virtue in the trees themselves — for 
this is a blasphemy — ^but sacred in their history, their interesting asso- 
dations, their wondrous antiquity. The birds are singing in their 
branches, and the slight breeze sighs in plaintive, melancholy music, 
like the voice of the pine in November nights, as we ride slowly through 
the grove, over the undulating surface, to the level spot used from time 
immemorial as a camping ground by travellers from all parts of the 
world. The tent is soon pitched, a woman is despatched to bring a jar 
of water from the fountain more than a half hour distant, our things are 
all arranged, and away we go, one to one place, another to another, to 
take measurements, to sketch, to meditate, to wonder, and to praise. 

The results of our investigations are somewhat as follows : The grove 
of the cedars stands in a vast amphitheatre of lofty mountains which 
border it in grand magnificence on the north, east and south. The 
slope of these mountains downward is at an angle of nearly forty-five 
degrees, being covered with a loose, sliding soil, of alight yellow colour. 
The cedars are nearer to the northern range than to the southern. It 
is perhaps 100 rods to the base of the slope on the north side. The 
width of the valley from north to south, I should think, must be about 
two and a half miles, perhaps less. The surface of the valley between 
these three ranges is very uneven, consisting of innumerable small. 

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140 life in Tripoli 

rounded hillocks or moraines, covered with loose stones, thorns and 
thistles, but without rocks of any large size, though some of them are 
simply rough ledges of limestone rounded by the action of the sun and 
snows and storms of ages. The ground on which the cedars stand is of 
the same general character. They occupy about six of these mounds, 
the distance from outside to outside in an easterly and westerly direction 
being about fifty rods, and nearly the same from north to south. The 
difference in elevation between the top of the highest hillock and the 
lowest intervening valley in the grove is about 100 feet I infer this 
from the fact that we could look down from ourencampmoit, which was 
on about the highest level, upon the tops, of some quite tall cedars in the 
valley below. The number of cedars is about 400. Of these, the 
greater part are quite large and high, many of them being straight enough 
for a ship's mast and spars. The leaves and bark are exactly like the 
American fir tree, and the cones of the younger trees also resemble 
them. One peculiarity of these trees is their angular appearance. The 
limbs of the older trees grow at right angles with the trunk, and that too 
at the very top of the tree, where the limbs are often very laige, giving 
the tree top the appearance of a mushroom, or an umbrella. The top of 
one of the twelve largest trees sends out branches horizontally so nu- 
merous and regular that one might make a floor of great uniformity and 
almost perfectly level, by simply la]ring boards from branch to branch. 
The top of the tree above the limbs, where the silvery green leaves seem 
matted together and sprinkled with the dark brown cones, is like a Damas- 
cus carpet of the finest texture, and is remarkably beautiful. The twelve 
largest trees are natural wonders. The people have a tradition with re- 
gard to these twelve trees that Christ and the eleven apostles once vis- 
ited the spot, and stuck down their walking staves in the earth, and from 
them sprang the greatest and oldest trees. Mr. Calhoun, who has often 
visited this spot, and has counted the rings which indicate each succes- 
sive year's growth, infers fix)m this indication, as well as from the fact 
that these old trees have not increased in size for 200 years, as is known 
from a name carved in the solid wood, that the trees are at least as old 
as the days of Solomon. If I were to give names to the twelve trees it 
would be those of the twelve patriarchs, and not of the apostles. 

I have enjoyed this day's visit beyond description, and I shall ever 
treasure up the meditations and memories connected with my first visit 
to the Cedan of Lebanon. Who can imagine a more glorious scene than 

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My First Arabic Sermon 141 

this goodly Lebanon when all its mountain valleys were filled, and its 
hilltops crowned with such trees as these ? The *' glory of Lebanon " 
must have been something glorious indeed. But how much of this 
glory has departed, and this solemn, solitary grove, 6,500 feet above the 
sea, in the region of the snows, on a sterile soil, without a fountain or a 
stream to give it vigour, seems to flourish in perpetual verdure and ever- 
renewed strength, a memorial of the past, a glory in the present, and a 
promise for the future ; showing forth the greatness, the majesty and the 
sovereignty of God, to all generations. The Cedar of Lebanon in its 
glory was used by the Psalmist as the symbol of a righteous man, and 
the judgment of God upon the unrighteousness of His people is given thus 
in die tenth chapter of Isaiah : *' The rest of the trees of his forest shall 
be few, that a child may write them." 

I would gladly linger longer here and speak of the numerous allusions 
to these "cedar trees," "cedars of Lebanon," the " trees of the Lord 
which He hath planted," etc., but time will not permit. 

I have numerous sketches of the cedars from various points of view, 
and the cones, mosses, stones, gum from the trees and flowers from the 
grove, I will send on to you in due time. I have omitted to mention 
that the two largest trees are about fifty feet in circumference, and ten 
others vary from twenty to fifty feet. The people are very careful not 
to mutilate the trees, and an old monk lives in the trunk of one of the 
trees, making it his business to furnish honey, milk, fruit and water to 
the travellers, and then expect a bukhsheedi in return. There is a 
church for saint and image worship under one of the trees, and the igno- 
rant people come here to receive a blessing. Thank God we come to 
these scenes without that idolatrous superstition, which while it professes 
to expect the blessing, brings down the curse of the Almighty. 

Peaceful is our sleep under this cool shade, for our covenant-keeping 
God is here. 

I preached my fiist Arabic sermon in January, 1857, in Tripoli. 
This sermon was finished December 15, 1856, just ten months 
and eight days after my arrival. It was the fruit of weeks of 
labour on the Arabic, with my teacher, Mr. E. Saadeh. He was 
only a novice in Arabic grammar at the time, but in after years 
he became an authority. The congregation numbered about 
ttdxty. I read from the manuscript I was greatly complimented. 

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142 Life in Tripoli 

but that was from the true politeness of the company. They 
listened respectfully, but how much good they received I would 
not dare to conjecture. I did not preach another sermon for 
three months. I continued to preach from manuscripts for 
a year, and then broke loose from the bondage and ever since, 
excepting on rare occasions, have used only an English outline, 
or an Arabic skeleton. I still keep that first sermon as a 
curiosity, but could not be hired to preach it again exactly as 
it is written, for love or money. Preaching in Arabic has been 
my delight. For forty-nine years it has been my joy. It is now 
much easier for me to preach in Arabic than in English. Coming 
to Syria fresh from the seminary, I had only six written English 
sermons, and I have not written more than a dozen since. In 
Arabic preaching I have always aimed at simplicity in thought 
and language. Our Syrian native preachers are apt to use 
** high " Arabic. Now high Arabic is beautiful. It is ringing and 
poetical, and, to an audience of Arabic scholars, is a literary 
treat. But the common people do not understand it. They 
wonder and admire but they are not fed. I have often heard 
them say after listening to a sophomorical sermon, <' The man 
was ' Shatir ' (smart) but we did not understand him." I have 
always aimed at the common mind. And simple Arabic in a 
religious discourse is enjoyed as much by the scholars as the 
classical would be. A manuscript in Arabic preaching is a clog 
and hamper. You cannot write the simple colloquial and hence 
you fall into a stilted semi-classical style. I always watch to 
see whether the women and children are paying attention. If 
not, I let down my style at once to their comprehension. It was 
said of Dr. Eli Smith, as a proof of his great accomplishments, 
that the women of Bhamdoun could understand his preaching. I 
have been accustomed for all these years to address Sunday- 
school children and speak every Friday forenoon to our Girls' 
Boarding-School and the British Syrian Girls' School, and the 
constant practice of speaking to the young has not only kept 
my heart young, but has kept my tongue young and simple. 
I heartily recommend all foreign missionaries to practice speak- 

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The Sanctified Hog 143 

ing to the women and children, especially the children. It is no 
small part of my comfort in retrospect, to think of the thousands 
of Syrian children to whom I have preached during fifty years. 
And the love and confidence of the children, in a land where 
there is so much of priestly tyranny and fanatical bitterness 
against us as missionaries, is a source of joy and comfort inde- 

Tripoli was a quaint old city, with its snow-white houses, 
surrounded on three sides with green olive and orange groves, 
and above it the brown sandstone castle of Raymond of 
Toulouse, on a range of low hills which is cut through by the 
dashing river Kadisha or Abu Aali which comes down through 
deep rocky gorges from the Cedars of Lebanon and runs through 
the city, through the orange gardens to the sea, which is a mile 
distant. The people were three-fourths Moslems and one-fourth 
Orthodox Greeks, and a few Maronites and Papal Greeks and 
about fifteen Jews. Several of the mosques were once Oriental 
churches and the Great Mosque had a spacious court, paved with 
stone, hundreds of feet in extent. 

The keeper of this mosque was Sheikh Rashid, a man of great 
dignity and nobility of bearing, who was a model of courtesy 
and a friend of the Christians and had several times prevented 
an uprising of the Moslems against the Christians. His son 
Sheikh Aali succeeded him and was very friendly to all 
Americans, though conceited and conscious of his dignity as 
" Mikaty " or time-keeper for the mosques of Syria. He had 
half a dozen clocks, English, French, German, Swiss, and 
American, and was often put to it to keep them ruhning together. 
His maktab or office was near the north gate of the Great 
Mosque, and there, seated on his cushion on the Turkish and 
Persian rugs, he received his visitors and furnished tobacco and 
coffee. One day a Maronite from Lebanon was driving a hog 
to the I^aronite quarter of the city, when it broke away and ran 
into the court of the Great Mosque around the corridors, by the 
minbar (pulpit) and the quiblah or mihrab (niche towards Mecca) 
and thence out into the street. Sheikh Aali was horror-struck. 

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144 ^^'^ ^ Tripoli 

The sacred mosque had beea defiled, polluted beyond remedy, 
by an unclean animal whose very name could not be mentioned 
without using the word " Ajellak Allah/' may God exalt you 
above the contamination of so vile a subject. A council was 
called. The mufti came and the kadi, and the chief sheikhs 
and Ulema. They sat around in solemn silence, until at length 
Sheikh Aali cautiously broached the awful subject, concluding 
with, '' the holy place has been polluted and must be closed and 
never used again for prayer to Allah." Then silence, until the 
mufti cheerfully reassured the desponding faithful as follows: 
** My children, no h^urm has been done. When that creature, 
Ajellakum Allah, entered the mosque, the great holiness of the 
place at once transformed it into a lamb, and it remained a lamb 
until it went out at the gate when it resumed its original char- 
acter." All exclaimed, <' El Hamdu Lillah, Sabhan £1 Khalik. 
Praise to Allah. Praise to the Creator." Mutual congratulation 
followed. That mufti should have been made an honorary 
member of the Philadelphia bar. 

Another interesting character in Tripoli was Saleh Sabony, a 
devout Moslem, but one of the truest and most self-sacrificing 
friends the American Mission ever had in Syria. He was a 
confectioner making jezariyeh and buklawa and lived in great 
simplicity. Being a friend of Mr. E. Saadeh, my teacher, he 
often came to see us and offered his services in anything we 
might need. When we leased, for seventy years, a room to be 
used as a chapel, he superintended the repairs and then acted as 
sexton to keep unruly street boys quiet. 

He then volunteered to go with us on journeys, acting as 
muleteer, guard and companion. He loved to hear the Gospel 
and often said, " I love Jesus Christ, but I cannot understand the 
Trinity." He defended us against Moslems, Greeks, Catholics, 
and Jews and they could not answer him. He acted as assistant 
to Dr. G. B. Danforth, then to his brother-in-law. Dr. Charles 
William Calhoun, and has now, 1907, been for twenty-two years 
the constant friend and helper of Dr. Ira Harris at tlie Meena or 
Port of Tripoli. It is a beautiful sight to see this gray-bearded 

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Saleh Sabony 14^; 

and white-turbaned Moslem acting as hospital usher and keeper, 
comforting and encouraging the poor Moslem women who 
throng the clinics of Dr. Harris. His fidelity, strict integrity 
and veracity are wonderful and he regards all Americans as his 
brothers and sisters. His intellectual difficulty about the Trinity 
does not prevent his offering prayers to Christ. In June, 1906, 
Saleh called on me at the house of Rev. Paul Erdman in 
Tripoli. His eyesight is feeble and his strength failing, but he 
was as cheerful as when I first knew him. I asked him about his 
means of support He said, *' I have lost all my property and 
live by simple doctoring of the people's sore eyes and earn a few 
piastres now and then. A loaf in the morning and another in 
the evening is all I need. Allah is good." I then said to him, 
'' Saleh, you have always said you could not become a Christian 
because we believed in the Trinity. Now you know we do not 
believe that God begets and is begotten, as Moslems assert. 
Does not the New Testament say that the Father is God, Christ 
the Word is God and the Holy Spirit is God?" "Yes." 
" Well, you need not worry to explain it. The Bible asserts it 
and you can leave it there. Do you believe that Jesus Christ 
came into the world to save sinners ? " ** Yes." " You have read 
this invitation, 'Come unto Me/ all ye that labour and are heavy 
laden and I will give you rest ' ? " " Yes." " Do you think He 
can save you ? " '• Yes," said he, " I have known that for forty 
years." •' Will you accept the call and come to Him ? " " Yes, I 
can." " Very well," said I. " If you can put yourself in His 
hands you will be safe. Let the philosophical question alone." 
He assured me that he prays to Christ as his Saviour. Dear 
man, may he be " accepted in the Beloved." 

Sheikh Yusef El Asir, who was a graduate of the Azhar Uni- 
versity in Cairo, and laboured eight years with Dr. Van Dyck in 
translating the Bible into Arabic, helped me to translate into 
Arabic several beautiful children's hymns and then taught them 
to his sons and brought them to me to recite them. Years after, 
I met one of them, a telegraph operator, and he assured me that 
he had not forgotten the hynm, '< Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me." 

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146 Life in Tripoli 

When the Lord comes to make up His «' jewels/' I doubt not 
there will be many saved from among the Moslems of Syria. A 
Moslem sheikh once said to Miss Taylor, '< Many Christians will 
rise from Moslem graves in Syria." 

January ii» 1857 — Dr. EU Smith passed away January ii, 
1857, as stated in the sketch of his life ; Dr. Van Dyck succeeded 
him in the work, removing from Sidon to Beirut in October. 
Mr. Eddy removed to Sidon in September, 1857, and Mr. Ford 
in August, 1859, on Dr. Thomson's return from America to join 
Dr. Van Dyck in Beirut. In February, 1857, I accepted Dr. 
Thomson's invitation to accompany him and Mr. Aiken on a 
tour through Palestine. It was the opportunity of a life-time to 
go with such an experienced traveller, explorer and author, and 
such a genial companion as Dr. Thomson. He made the land 
expound the Book all the way from Sidon to Hebron, and from 
Capernaum to Jericho. Every hill and valley, every rock and 
stream, every ruined wall and temple became vocal and eloquent 
The whole land was stamped on my memory and the Bible be- 
caq[ie a new book. I learned from that saintly scholar, what I 
never ceased to urge on young pastors and theological students, 
that the best preparation for the Christian pastorate is not a 
fellowship of two years spent amid the bogs and clouds of 
German university speculation, but a tent life of six months un- 
der the clear sky of Palestine, where the land will confirm the 
Book, and both Old and New Testaments sparkle with divine 
light and human life and reality. When Professors Park, Hitch- 
cock and H. B. Smith visited Syria and Palestine together in 
May, 1870, they came to Abeih to visit the missionaries and visit 
the theological class. They all expressed deep regret that they 
had not visited Palestine in the beginning of their ministerial 
life, and declared that they should henceforth urge upon their 
students to make the tour of Palestine. The older missionaries 
assured me that a tour with Arab muleteers and servants, after 
the first year of language study, was an excellent way of learning 
the colloquial Arabic. And I found it to be so. 

On the i6th of June, 1857, 1 sailed for America to be married. 

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My Marriage 147 

and acted as the escort of Mrs. Eli Smith and her five children. 
The three boys were Charles (now professor in Yale), Edward 
Robinson (a connoisseur in art), and Benjamin Eli (editor of the 
Century Dictionary). All of them inherited Uieir father's 
scholarly tastes. 

We crossed the Atlantic in the side wheeler, The Vanderbilt^ 
which was afterwards given to the United States government 
and transformed into a war cruiser. We sailed from Havre July 
8th and reached New York on the 19th, having had constant 
fogs. We ran by " dead reckoning," 3,000 miles without seeing 
sun or stars, and when we stopped on the 19th the fog suddenly 
lifted and we were near the Sandy Hook light-ship. 

I took Mrs. Smith and the children to Brooklyn and then 
crossed to Jersey City where my father and sister, Mrs. J. B. 
Salisbury, were awaiting me. I then went on to Montrose, and 
after journe}nngs oft, I was married, October 7th, to Miss Caro- 
line Bush in Branchport, New York. After our marriage we 
visited my old friend and my father's friend. Rev. Dr. S. H. Cox, 
then chancellor of Ingham University, at Leroy, New York. 
The doctor gave us a reception, and read us a poetical address 
which was followed by an Arabic address by Professor Roerig of 
the university, to which I replied in Arabic. He had studied in 
Constantinople and Cairo, and his Arabic was stiff and stilted. I 
was amused at his calling a girls' school <' El Madriset el 
Mo'annisiyet," /. ^., the feminine school, whereas it should have, 
been " Madriset el Binat " — girls' school. 

We had expected to sail from Boston in the new sailing bark, 
Henry Hill^ in December, but learned that it did not leave 
Smyrna until October 31st. It reached Boston December 29th 
and was advertised to sail January 30th, but did not sail until 
February 23d. During this visit home I met again that 
apostolic missionary. Dr. Henry A. De Forest, whom I first 
met in Hartford in September, 1854, on his arrival from 
Syria. He loved Syria as I do now and his descriptions of 
Syrian scenery and climate, its mountains and skies, the blue 
sea and the wild flowers, were simply fascinating. He died 

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HS Life in TripoU 

November 24, 1858, in Rochester, his wife surviving him nearly 
forty years. 

Our voyage to Syria was long. We were becalmed frequently. 
On March 2ist, Captain Watson told us we had only made one 
hundred miles in a week. On March 29th we entered the 
Straits of Gibraltar. It was a dead calm and nearly fifty sailing 
vessels, like ourselves, were being carried eastward by the current, 
which dashed and boiled almost like the rapids above Niagara. 
There being no wind, the rudder was useless and we drifted, 
sometimes stern foremost, and other vessels were drifting around 
us, and in danger of collision. At 7 p. m., a five-knot breeze 
filled the sails and we went gaily on our course, reaching Malta 
April 4th. Rev. Mr. Wiseley, the Scotch chaplain, took us to visit 
the capuchin monastery of dried monks. Each holy monk on 
his death is desiccated, and then dressed in his monkish robes and 
set up in a niche to grin in a ghastly way at all brethren and 
visitors. The monk who showed us about was a corpulent and 
jolly brother and talked freely in Italian with Mr. Wiseley. We 
asked Mr. Wiseley to ask the monk how long it takes to diy a 
monk. He said that depended on the man's physique. Mr. 
Wiseley dryly remarked, •' It will take a long time to dry you." 
The old monk shook with laughter, as if he were enjoying think- 
ing what a time his successors would have in reducing him to 
the mummy condition. Captain Watson was greatly chagrined 
that the new bark, Henry Hill^ proved to be slower than the old 

We reached Smyrna April 13th. Mr. Dodd met us on board 
with news of the wonderful revivals all over the United States and 
we rejoiced together. We remained in Mr. Dodd's house until 
April 20th, when we took passage in the Messageries French 
steamer, Ganges^ for Tripoli. On Sunday the iSth, I heard Mr. 
Dodd preach in Turkish and I preached at 4 p. m. in English. 
I enjoyed hearing little Hetty Dodd singing the children's hymns I 
taught her two years ago, and the family were enjo)ring the 
melodeon I had ordered for them at that time from Mr. Theodore 
Lyons at Montrose. 

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Back from Furlough 149 

We sailed by Chios, Satnos and Patmos and anchored a few 
hours at Rhodes. Two years before I had visited the old castle 
north of the town. We went again to see it and found only an 
immense funnel-shaped cavity in the ground. The powder 
magazine under the castle had been exploded by lightning and the 
castle walls, foundations and all went flying over the town leav- 
ing only a gaping crater. As we sailed along the coast of Cilicia 
the snow-capped range of Taurus seemed far more beautiful than 
either the Sierra Nevada of Spain, the white mountains of Crete 
or Mount Elias of Greece. 

On Monday, April 27th, we landed in Tripoli, our Syrian home. 
We were greeted by our colleagues, Mr. and Mrs. Lyons and 
loved friend, Mr. A. Yanni. Many Syrian friends called to wel- 
come us, among them Elias Saadeh and Abu Selim Diab, my old 
teachers, and Saleh Sabony, the Moslem. 

Letters came from Rev. D. M. Wilson in Hums telling of bit- 
ter opposition by the Greek bishop who has knocked down a 
young inquirer with his cane, and the city is in an uproar. One 
young Greek girl, who came to hear Mrs. Wilson read the Bible, 
was seized and dragged by her hair through the streets and Mrs. 
Wilson fears for the life of her husband. Young men come in 
crowds to argue with him but they find him mighty in the Scrip- 
tures. One of his favourite texts is, " To the law and the testi- 
mony : if they speak not according to this word it is because 
there is no light in them '' (Isa. 8 : 20). 

As I write these words in June, 1907, there is a flourishing 
Protestant Church in Hums, with a native pastor and a prosper- 
ous self-supporting boarding-school. The Greek bishop of to- 
day was himself taught, when a child, in a mission school in 
Lebanon, and he has the New Testament as a text-book in his 
own schools. 

In May we leased for seventy years a vaulted room to be used 
as a chapel. During the repairs the huge stone lintel over the 
old door had to be taken down, and Saleh, our Moslem friend, had 
it slid ofl* upon his head and then he lowered it to the ground. 
It was a compact limestone slab, seven feet long and a foot square 

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150 Life in TripcA 

and must have weighed about three hundred pounds. He is one 
of die strongest men in the city. Once in Duma, a Ldxuion vil- 
lage, he had cut a handle in a stone weighmg one hundred and 
fifty pounds, and would raise it widi one hand and dirow it over 
his shoulders. The people of Beshaleh, a neighbouring village, 
hearing of Saldi brought their champion athlete, who broke 
Saleh's record by lifting the stone and holding it in one hand 
over his head. This stone lifting is one of the usual feats of the 
Lebanon peasantry. 

The leasing of that room for seventy years was a curious trans- 
action. After vain attempts to buy a house to be refitted for a 
church, we succeeded, after weeks of bargaining, in leasing a large 
arched room or koboo thirty by forty feet and twenty feet high for 
seventy years at one hundred piastres per year (^00) paid in 
advance, and ten piastres yearly " wokf " tax to be paid to the 
family of the lessors. This lease was drawn up in the American 
vice-consulate and signed by Messrs. Lyons and H. H. Jessup 
and Mohammed and Ahmed Shellaby and Antonius Yanni? 
year of the Hegira, 1274, and middle of month Showwal, A. d., 
May 26, 1858. And the figures were also written in reverse 
order 8581 to prevent error in the future. At the end of the 
seventy years the owners could only take possession on repaying 
all that the lessees had expended on it during the seventy years 
with interest so that it amounted virtually to a sale. About 
thirty-three years afterwards, in 1891, Talcott Hall was built in 
Tripoli, and the old Shellaby koboo was sold by the mission. 
Yanni remarked after the lease had been signed and the money 
paid over, that " Satan must have been asleep when that bargain 
was made or we could not have got it so cheap." While the 
koboo was being repaired, Saleh slept in it to keep watch. The 
Moslem said to him, '< What, sleep in a church and you a 
Moslem." " Yes," he said, " and to-morrow I may pray in it, 
and who will hinder ? " 

The summer and fall of 1858 were times of ominous portent 
There were rebellions north of Tripoli and highway robbery all 
over the land. In Jeddah, the seaport of Mecca, the Moslems 

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Women at Church 151 

rose and massacred the foreign consuls and nearly all the Chris- 
tian population. The Moslems of Tripoli reported that firearms 
had been landed by a French gunboat, whereupon they bought 
five hundred muskets and the government in Beirut sent ten 
pieces of cannon to Tripoli to protect the city against the 
Maronite Christians of Zgharta. Southern Lebanon was also 
in a state of unrest and misrule, a condition which continued 
through the whole of the next year and finally culminated in the 
outbreak of i860. 

Last Sabbath (/th of November) I preached for the first time 
in the new chapel. Mr. Lyons preached the two previous Sab- 
baths. The chapel is situated in one of the principal streets, and 
the people say it is like a fisherman's net, for it catches every- 
body who passes by. The consequence is that there is generally 
a great crowd around the door, and many passing in and out 

On Sunday last, there were about fifty in their seats, and the 
attention was good. I preached from Gal. 6 : 14, '< God forbid 
that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" 
I had the heads written out, but preached extempore, and suc- 
ceeded better than I anticipated. We are now waiting for the 
curtain which is probably on its way from Boston to Smyrna. 
At present no Arab women come, or at least only a few, but when 
the curtain is up, the women can come and be shielded fi-om the 
gaze of the men. 

We are very thankful that we have so good a room for re- 
ligious worship. It looks as though it were originally built for a 
church, although it was first a store, and then a grog-shop. We 
are obliged to preach in very simple language, as the majority of 
tlie people cannot understand the classic Arabic, and in reading 
the Scriptures we are obliged to explain carefully the meaning. 
I trust that the opening of our chapel will prove a dawning of 
a new day in Tripoli. 

Wednesday, November loth — Mercury, A. m., 79° ; p. m., 75^. 
Mr. Wilson writes from Hums that two great Arab tribes, the 
Mowalee and the Hadadee, have had a battle just outside of the 
city gate of Hums. Mr. Wilson^ witnessed the battle. The 

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152 Life in Tripoli 

Mowalee were beaten. The villages about Hums are being 
plundered, and the people are flying to the city to get protection 
within the walls. Mr. Wilson well remarks that it is well for the 
Sultan's government that these wild denizens of the desert expend 
their strength in fighting each other rather than in rebelling 
against the government. The troops of the Pasha of Beirut 
which passed through here some days ago are now among the 
Nusairiyeh trying to find and kill Ismaeel Khire Beg, who was 
governor of Safita, and who had the battle near Tripoli in June. 
The only charge I can hear of as made against him is that he is 
not a Moslem and will not pay bribes enough to the government. 
Tuesday, November i6th — We hear to-day that Ismaeel Khire 
B^, the Nusairiyeh chieftain, has been slain by his own mother's 
brother. Ismaeel fled from the Turkish pasha who came after 
him, and took all his goods, household furniture, and valuables 
on five or six hundred mules to the north. While stopping at 
the village " Ain Keroom " one of his party died, and the funeral 
was attended at once. While they were weeping at the funeral, 
the uncle of Ismaeel approached and asked why they were weep- 
ing. " We are weeping for the dead," said Ismaeel. " Who 
will weep when you are dead ? " said the uncle, and drawing his 
pistol, shot Ismaeel through the heart. He fell and as he was 
expiring, pled with his uncle to take care of his son. The ruf- 
fianly, heartless uncle seized the boy and shot him before his 
dying father's eyes, and then seized all his property and his wife 
whom he made his own wife at once. The Turkish pasha, who 
wished to take Ismaeel alive, has seized the uncle, but will not 
probably inflict any punishment upon him. One can hardly 
conceive a more brutal act, yet such things are too frequent to 
be noticed in this land. This man who was killed had committed 
deeds during the last few months which will hardly bear record- 
ing. - He seized rebellious subjects, burned out their eyes, cut off 
their ears and noses, and flayed them alive. Truly " the dark 
places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." The 
physical miseries of the^unevangelized nations are surely enough 
to awaken tlie sympathies of philanthropists in evecv land. 

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Intertribal War 153 

Thursday, November i8th — We have letters agaia from Hums. 
There has been another battle between the Arab tribes. The 
Mowalee who were beaten in the first battle sent to the Metawileh 
sheikhs of Baalbec for help. The Metawilehs came with a large 
force and joined the Mowalee against the Hadadee, but the 
Hadadee routed them both, and about fifty were killed. Zano, 
the muleteer who is our letter-carrier, lives in a village only five 
minutes from the gates of Hums, and yet through fear he has 
removed his family and property into the city. Hums is in a 
barbarous region. Tripoli is civilized in comparison with it. 

Monday, November 22d — To-day we have been writing and 
studying, and I have been out among the people. I found a com- 
pany of men from the neighbouring village, none of whom could 
read or write. They never heard of America, and wished to know 
how many days' journey it would be to one riding a mule. I told 
them about four hundred and sixty-six days, but as it is by sea 
and not by land, we go in thirty days by steamer, and sixty or 
seventy by sailing vessel. They wondered at the very thought of 
such a stupendous distance, and asked me what I came here for^ 
leaving all my friends behind. I spent half an hour in talking about 
Christ, and several Moslems were in the crowd. You can hardly 
conceive the ignorance and mental vacuity of such men as these. 

The missionary work went on with little interruption. At 
Alma, southeast of Tyre, a village of 500 souls, forty had become 
Protestants, and a church was dedicated on November 7th. The 
new converts were violently persecuted. A Moslem inquirer 
from Bagdad was rescued from the Jesuits in Tripoli and sent 
to the Malta Protestant .College. During that year there were 
thirty-two schools, and 1,065 pupils, 268 of them being girls. 
The number of pages printed was 2,258,000, about one twenty- 
ninth of the pages printed in 1905. 

The work of female education received a new impulse in the 
arrival of Misses Temple and Johnson at Suk el Gharb, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Daniel Bliss removed from Abeih to that village to aid 
them in opening a girls' boarding-school. Miss Johnson's health 
failed and she returned to America in 1859. 

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154 Life in Tripoli 

In May, 1858, Rev. R. J. Dodds and his family, later of the 
Reformed Presbyterian Mission in Latakia, went to 2^ahleh to 
found a mission. They were forcibly driven out by a mob led 
by a dozen priests. They were shamefully treated and grossly 
insulted. The government of Lebanon was at that time divided 
and weak, and the Zahlehites defied it They boasted of their 
prowess, of their 1,000 men^armed with guns, and gloried in the 
protection of the Virgin to whom their cathedral church was 
dedicated. The Orthodox Greeks^ who were in the minority, 
were more liberal than their Papal Greek townsmen, but in op- 
posing Protestantism they were a unit They had no schools 
and cared nothing for education. They were brave, rough, and 
hospitable to everything but the Bible. Their business was 
chiefly in sheep, wheat and barley, which they bought from 
Kurdish shepherds and the Hauran Arabs. For this purpose 
they made frequent trips to the plains about Hamath and Hums 
and to Hauran, going in bodies of twenty armed men and fearing 
no foe. They boasted that no Druse or Moslem could live in 
Zahleh. Some of the families became wealthy and all were in- 
dustrious. In religion their bishops and priests were supreme. 
They had heard of the " Bible men " from America, and occa- 
sional native colporteurs had visited the town, but when Mr. 
Dodds arrived with his family, the town was in consternation and 
the priest-led mob made short work of driving ihem down to 
Moallakah, where, under a Moslem governor, they were allowed 
to rest in peace. Mr. Dodds then withdrew to Latakia and 
founded the mission which has continued to the present time. 
In 1859, just one year later. Rev. W. A. Benton of Bhamdoun 
(only five hours on horseback from Zahleh), who had met many 
of the Zahleh merchants and muleteers during his ten years of 
Syrian life, resolved to beard the Zahleh lion in his den. So, 
taking his wife, who was a noted doctress, and his little children, 
with beds and clothing and books, he entered Zahleh as guest of an 
Orthodox Greek. The priests soon heard of it, and raising a mob 
went to the house and literally carried them all, bag and baggage, 
out of the town down the valley until they were beyond the 

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Driven from Zahleh 155 

sacred soil of Zahleh, and then dumped them in the wilder- 

Zahleh was not yet open. It needed the discipline of God's 
hand in war and disaster and humbling defeat by their merciless 
Druse foes, to teach them their weakness and open the way for 
messengers of peace. One solitary man, Musa Ata, a Greek 
Catholic (or Papal Greek), had become a Protestant, but owing to 
his family and position was able to hold out in spite of boycotting 
and priestly anathemas. In 1872 I conducted his funeral and 
preached to a curious and noisy crowd of 1,000 Zahlehites in the 
schoolhouse of Miss Wilson, the brave Scotch lady, who alone at 
that time held the Gospel fort in Zahleh. The Lebanon School's 
committee had a school previous to that time in Moallakah, and 
in 1 87 1 the Syria Mission voted to establish a regular station in 

In June, 1859, Dr. Thomson arrived from America and trans- 
ferred his residence from Sidon to Beirut Rev. J. A. Ford re- 
moved to Sidon. On leaving Beirut Mr. Ford expressed his great 
relief in leaving the Beirut church, which a few ambitious men 
had controlled, and in which self-support had been persistently 
opposed. It was hoped that Dr. Thomson, from his age and ex- 
perience, would be able to guide the church in ways of wisdom. 
In fact, no effort had been made up to this time to enforce or in- 
duce self-support in the feeble native churches. Nothing was 
paid for their preaching or education. Abeih Seminary, the 
leading school, gave board and tuition without charge. The same 
was true of all the schools in the land. The churches were weak 
and education was such a discredited exotic that parents rather 
expected to be paid for allowing us to experiment on their chil- 
dren. The value of preaching and teaching was yet to be learned. 
The teaching of Mr. Calhoun in Abeih was thorough and spiritual, 
as narrated elsewhere, and its fruits are now seen all over the land. 

At the opening of 1859, Dr. Van Dyck had the whole of the 
new translation of the four Gospels in type. Five thousand nine 
hundred and sixty-two volumes and tracts were issued from the 
press in 1858, and 3,638,000 pages were printed. Seven stations 

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156 Life in Tripoli 

were occupied : Beirut by Dr. Thomson, Dr. Van Dyck and Mr. 
Hurter, mission printer ; Abeih by Mr. Calhoun ; Deir el Komr 
by Mr. Bird; Bhamdoun by Mr. Benton; Sidon by Messrs 
Ford and Eddy ; Tripoli by Messrs. Lyons and H. H. Jessup, 
and Hums by Mr. Wilson ; in all ten missionaries and one printer. 
But clouds were gathering in the political sky and there were 
ominous mutterings of the coming storm. On August 30th a 
quarrel between a Druse and a Maronite boy about a chicken 
in the village of Beit Mirri, on a mountain ridge east of Beirut, 
led to a bloody affray between the two sects which raged a whole 
day. The Druses lost twenty-eight more than their opponents and 
vowed vengeance. 

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The Massacre Summer of i860 

EVEN now I find it difficult to recall the scenes and events 
of the Syrian massacres of i860 without a shudder. 
Every event was so branded into my memory that it 
seems but yesterday that this beautiful land was grimed with fire 
and sword, pillage and carnage. 

Mount Lebanon is a range of mountains extending 100 miles 
along the seacoast, and some thirty miles into the interior. The 
Damascus Road, in those days a mere mule track, afterwards a 
French diligence road, and now an *' Abt S)rstem " Railway, di- 
vides the Lebanon into two provinces, the Northern, chiefly Mar- 
onite Catholic, and the Southern, Druse, mixed with Maronites 
and Greeks. The Druses are neither Moslem nor Christian, but 
a peculiar, secret, m}^tic sect, having no priesthood and no assem- 
blies for worship, claiming to be Unitarians, or believers in one 
God, infinite, indefinable, incomprehensible and passionless, who 
has become incarnate in a succession of ten men, the last of whom 
was the mad Egyptian caliph. Hakim b'amr Illah, who was as- 
sassinated A. D. 1044. They are more of a political than a relig- 
ious society, and the national spirit is intense. The Druse nation 
can neither increase nor decrease. It is lawful to pretend to 
believe in the reUgion of any sect among whom they dwell. 
Among the Moslems they are Moslems, among the Jews, Jews, 
among the Greeks they are Greeks, among the Romanists they 
are good papists, and among the Protestants they are evangel- 
ical Biblical Christians. In politics they look to the English for 
protection, and have always favoured the American schools. 
They are courteous, hospitable, industrious, temperate and 
brave. The okkal, or initiated class, use neither tobacco nor 
liquors of any kind. Any one leaving their sect for Christianity 
would be disinherited. 


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158 The Massacre Summer 

They live in Lebanon, in Wady Et Teim, northwest of Mount 
Hermon, and in Hauran.^ They number in all between 75,000 
and 100,000. They have several feudal families in Lebanon, the 
Jumblatts, the Arslans, the Telhooks, the Bu*Nakids, the Abdul 
Meleks, the Hamadys, the 'Amads, etc. Said Beg Jimiblatt was 
called Kees ed Druse, " The Purse of the Druses," Khattur el 
Amad, the '« Sword of the Druses," and Sheikh Hassein Telhook^ 
the " Tongue of the Druses." As a national body they are com- 
pact, united and bound to obedience in peace and war. 

The Maronites of Northern Lebanon are a Romish sect, in ab- 
ject obedience to their priests, bishops and patriarch, at that time 
an illiterate people with a well-trained priesthood. The sect is of 
great antiquity and for centuries maintained its independence in 
the heights of Northern Lebanon against Moslems, Greeks and 
Bedawin Arabs. In the twelfth century, during the Crusades^ 
they accepted the primacy of the Pope and have ever since been 
devoted to Rome. The patriarch was, in the beginning of mod- 
ern missionary work in Syria, the unscrupulous enemy of light 
and of God's Word, claiming the right to arrest, imprison and 
even put to death any Maronite reading the Bible or leaving the 
sect He caused the death of Asaad es Shidiak in 1829, the first 
Protestant martyr in Syria in modern times. These Oriental 
hierarchs are avaricious, haughty, and full of political intrigue, 
encouraging their people to oppress other sects. Their policy is 
to keep the people in ignorance, educating only those in training 
for the priesthood. 

In the beginning of the eighteenth century the Druses called 
to the government of Lebanon, the Mohammedan family of 
Shehab, a branch of the Beni Koreish, and allied by blood and 
marriage with the line of the prophet Mohammed. The Shehab 
emirs had ruled Hauran ever since the taking of Damascus by 
their ancestor, Khalid, surnamed the *• Sword of God." In the 
twelfth century Sultan Noureddin gave them the petty princi- 
pality of Hasbeiya and Rasheiya at the foot of Mount Hermon. 

' It is not correct to say «* the Hauran," the Arabic form of Auranitis. 
In Esekiel 47 : x6, there is no definite article. It is simply Hauran. 

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Digitized by VjOOQIC 

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The Nero of Syria 159 

They long remained firm friends of the Druses and placed the 
feudal system of the Druse begs on a firm basis.^ 

But, in 1756, two of the Shehab emirs were converted to Chris- 
tianity and became Maronites, and several others followed their 
example. This fact increased the ambition of the Maronite 
patriarch to crush the Druses and bring all Lebanon under his 
sway. The ruler of all Syria including Lebanon, at this time, was 
the infamous and cruel tyrant Jezzar Pasha of Acre, whose pastime 
was burning out the eyes, mutilating and impaling men obnoxious 
to him and his minions. Nofel Eflfendi Nofel, one of the most 
learned and excellent men of modern Syria, told me, in 1865, 
that his grandfather was publicly impaled by Jezzar, a sharp stake 
being driven through his body from below and out of his mouth, 
and he was left to die of this horrible torture. 

He was the Nero of modern Syria, and degraded and corrupted 
the people by extinguishing all self-respect, and dividing them 
into hostile factions, each anxious by fawning and cringing to 
gain his favour. Colonel Churchill says that he inaugurated that 
unscrupulous policy, which continued to i860, of keeping the 
Lebanon in a constant state of weakness and paralysis. 

Up to the time of Jezzar Pasha in Acre, and the Emir Beshir 
Shehab in Lebanon, there had been no *' fanning of religious ani- 
mosities " in Lebanon. Druses and Christians lived together in 
perfect harmony. During the wars of the feudal chiefe. Druse 
and Christian together fought promiscuously on rival sides. The 
Emir Beshir Shehab who ruled from 1789 to 1840, although a 
Maronite, never thought of rallying the Maronites in a crusade 
against the Druses. He felt that the Druses were the most im- 
portant element of his power, and never in all his wars called for 
aid from the Maronites. The Christian sects, Maronite and 
Greek, now prospered and increased in wealth and security, in 
striking contrast to the condition of their coreligionists in the 
great towns and on the plains, who were under direct Turkish 
rule. The city Christians were allowed to live as they paid the 
tribute. If suspected of having money they were forthwith 
'See Churchill's ** Druses and Maronites,'' p. ao. 

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i6o The Massacre Summer 

robbed. A Christian was not permitted to ride even a donkey. 
He must dress only in black. He could not have his seal en- 
graved in Arabic, that language being too noble for his usage ; 
his name was engraved in Hebrew or Greek. . If his house was 
noticed as higher than that of his Mohammedan neighbour it was 
pulled down. His corpse might not be carried before the door 
of a mosque. The Christians sought relief by bribing prominent 
and influential Mohammedans to befriend them. 

In 1 831 Syria passed under the dominion of Mohammed Ali, * 
viceroy of Egypt, and his son Ibrahim Pasha, and he enforced the 
equality of all sects before the law. The Moslem aghas, eflendis 
and kadis conspired to nullify his liberal laws and after the battle 
of Nezib in which Ibrahim Pasha destroyed the Turkish army, 
he executed some scores of these fanatical Moslem agitators. 
Christians were admitted into the local councils and allowed 
liberty of dress, person and property. Commerce increased and 
the country prospered. 

But in the summer of 1840, the allied fleets of England, Austria 
and Turkey bombarded the Syrian seaports and drove Ibrahim 
Pasha back to Egypt. As he had enforced a military conscrip- 
tion on all sects, the Maronites refused to yield and consequently 
they welcomed the fleets. In six months Syria was restored to 
the Turks, and everything went back to its old condition of op- 
pression, extortion, and misrule. The Emir Beshir Shehab sur- 
rendered and was banished to Malta. The Emir Beshir Kasim 
Shehab succeeded him as governor of Lebanon and soon alien- 
ated all the Druse sheikhs by his haughty and arrogant treat- 
ment and his threats to put them under the iron rule of the Mar- 
onite patriarch. This patriarch now issued an Irlam or circular, 
virtually abolishing the ancient and feudal rights of the Druses. 
Colonel Hugh Rose, British commissioner, in a despatch at this 
time states that " the Maronite clergy show a determination to 
uphold their supremacy in the mountains at the risk of a civil 
war." At the same time the Druses were ordered by the Emir 
Beshir at the instigation of the patriarch, to close the Protestant 
schools which had been opened in their villages. The bishop of 

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Its Gallicidal Origin 161 

Beirut boasted that ere long the Maronites would drive the 
Druses out of the country. Under the old emir, religious toler- 
ation had been sternly prohibited, and as we have seen in the 
sketches of King, Bird and Goodell, the early efforts of Protestant 
missionaries were promptly crushed. Any one who was known 
to hold intercourse of any kind with Englishmen or Americans 
was immediately put under the ban of excommunication. The 
idea was sedulously impressed on the minds of Maronites and 
Greeks, that the English were free masons and infidels, and as 
such, outcasts from the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. 
On the arrival of the British fleet ofTthe coast in 1840, a decree 
was issued throughout the mountain that whoever went down to 
look on the ships should have his eyes put out. But the presence 
of the English army and imperial commissioner, on Syrian soil, 
broke the spell. The Druses everywhere welcomed the English, 
asked for schools and wanted to be taught, enlightened, civilized. 
This increased the bitter hatred and animosity of the patriarch 
and his priests and monks against the Druses, and their eflbrts, 
to stir up discord and strife in the mixed districts south of the 
Damascus Road. 

On September 14, 1841, an affray took place at Deir el Komr, 
arising out of the shooting by a Maronite of a partridge on a 
shooting preserve of the Druse chief, Nasif Beg Abu Nakad. 
The Druses lost thirty-two killed and wounded and the Maronites 
thirteen, and a Druse army was suddenly mustered and sur- 
rounded Deir el Komr, and only the prompt interference of 
Colonel Rose, H. B. M. Consul-General, who happened to be in 
the town, prevented a general war. The Druses now prepared 
for war in self-defense, and the Maronite patriarch announced 
that he and his clergy was ready to head the Maronites and ex- 
terminate the Druses. The Druses also entered into a compact 
with the Turks and were guided by their secret instructions. On 
October 18, the Druse army of the Jumblatts, the Abu Nakads 
and the Amads, ag^in attacked Deir el Komr and kept up the 
fight three days, burning houses, and the Abu Nakads burned the 
neighbouring Maronite villages, slaughtering the inhabitants. 

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i62 The Massacre Summer 


Oa the 1 6th, Colonel Rose, with Ayub Pasha arrived from Beirut, 
just in time to save the male population from ^ ruthless massacre. 
Colonel Churchill says, *' When Druse vengeance is once aroused, 
it is remorseless. They imbrue their hands in blood with a sav- 
age joy that is incredible. Yet as a general principle, they never 
touch women." 

The war now became general throughout Lebanon, the Greek 
Christians joining the Druses in attacking the Maronites. In less 
than ten days the Druses had completely subdued the Maronites 
residing among them, sacking and burning their villages and 
convents, and, but for the moderation and intense activity of 
Naaman Beg Jumblatt, the war would have been carried into 
Northern Lebanon. " The Maronite patriarch, bewildered by 
the sweeping successes of those he thought to exterminate, shut 
himself up at first in a room in his convent, and finally negotiated 
for refuge on a British man-of-war." 

On November 5th, Deir el Komr surrendered to the Druses, 
and the Emir Beshir Kasim rode out, deprived of his arms and 
his turban, in great chagrin, and as he approached Beirut, saw 
the villages of Baabda and Hadeth in flames, together with his 
own palace and those of the Shehab emirs, and he saw the Mar- 
onite fugitives being wounded, plundered even to the women, 
and stripped by the Turkish irregular cavalry, sent out to restore 
order. The Maronites declared that " they would sooner be 
plundered by the Druses than protected by the Turks." 

The crushing of the Maronite power in Lebanon encouraged 
the Druses and certain Turkish officials to attack 2^1eh and 
even exterminate the Christians of Damascus. But by the 
energy of H. B. M. Consul Wood in Damascus, the effort failed 
and the bloody wave was stayed. For two years Lebanon was 
in constant ferment, until January I, 1843, the Porte mvested the 
Emir Haider Abu Lama, a Maronite, as kaimakam for the 
Christians of Lebanon, and the Emir Ahmed Arslan as kaimakam 
for the Druses south of the Damascus Road. As a large body 
of Maronites lived in the Druse district they protested against 
being under Druse rule. The Greeks, however, were quite 

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Dcir cl Komr 163 

content to have a Druse governor. The Maronite patriarch 
then declared that '* all Lebanon must be under either Druse or 
Maronite rule, the blow must be struck, and he who strikes first 
will have two chances to one in his favour." This principle the 
Druses acted upon. Colonel Churchill says that large funds had 
been received by the Maronite patriarch from France and Austria 
to relieve the sufferers from the last civil war, and he used these 
funds for the promotion of a second. 

In January, 1845, Said Beg Jumblatt summoned a grand meet- 
ing of all the Druse sheikhs at Mukhtara. Being the wealthiest 
chief of the Druses his influence was supreme. In April, the 
storm burst, in Deir el Komr, Jezzin and Abeih. In Abeih Dr. 
Thomson bore a flag of truce to the Druse leader who had be- 
sieged the Shehab emirs and the Maronites in the castle. 
Hostilities ceased and the timely arrival of Colonel Rose saved 
the lives of hundreds of Christians. A Turkish governor was 
placed in Deir el Komr and matters settled down to the usual 
quiet of alarms and rumours. The feudal chief, Beshir Beg Abu 
Nakad, driven out of his ancestral seat in Deir el Komr, vowed 
vengeance and bided his time. 

Deir el Komr increased in wealth, in silk weaving and various 
industries, and its merchants built elegant stone houses paved 
with marble, while, as Colonel Churchill says, ** their wives and 
daughters were apparelled in silks and satins, and blazed with 
jewelry, gold and pearls and diamonds. They boasted of having 
2,000 warriors, who, if properly led, could have defended their 
town against any army the Druses could raise. Beshir Beg Abu 
Nakad wished to build a house on his land about a mile west of 
the town, but they refused him permission, and threatened to 
raze as fast as he would build. He desisted, but exclaimed, 
" Those dogs, I will yet lay the foundations of my house with 
their skulls ! " 

The town of Zahleh, the other Lebanon Christian stronghold 
on the east of Lebanon, and facing the great plain of the Bookaa, 
had risen rapidly to wealth, by its trade in sheep, wool, and in 
wheat from Hauran. Its population was about 12,000, boasting 

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164 The Massacre Summer 

3,cxx) warriors, horse and foot, and claiming that they protected 
the great plain of the Bookaa from the marauding raids of the 
Druses and Bedawin Arabs. They were Orthodox Greeks and 
Greek Catholics, and were in a kind of federal alliance with Deir 
el Komr for general protection against the Druses. 

In the Anti-Lebanon, at the foot of Mount Hermon, was the 
large village of Hasbeiya, with a population of 6,000 Orthodox 
Greeks and scarcely 1,500 Druses. The Mohammedan Shehab 
emirs, worried and in constant conflict with the Druses, had a 
warm friendship for the Greeks and the few Protestants of the 
town. Long before this time Protestantism was well established 
in Hasbeiya, a church edifice built, and Rev. John Wortabet, 
M. D., was the faithful pastor. But the whole region around 
Hermon was insecure. Highway robbery and murder were 
constant. In Druse Lebanon, Colonel Churchill declares that 
" In ten years, upwards of eleven hundred murders were com- 
mitted without an attempt at investigation or inquiry." 

French intrigue was active, and as Churchill says, " In Northern 
Lebanon the Maronite kaimakam, the Maronite ^ patriarch and 
the French consul-general formed a triumvirate, animated by two 
principles, submission of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, and 
exclusive devotion of both to France." France was at that time 
the *' elder son of the Church," and all Catholic sects in Syria 
looked to France as their protector. It was even proclaimed that 
Lebanon would be occupied by a French army. The Greeks on 
the other hand looked to Russia, and the Druses to a great extent 
to England for protection. 

I cannot enter into the part borne by Khurshid Pasha of Beirut 
in the events which culminated in the awful massacres of i860. 
I would refer the reader to Colonel Churchill's book, "The 
Maronites and the Druses," for his views of the political situation 
and the treachery of that infamous character. 

But in 1859 we saw clearly that a crisis was at hand. Arms 
and ammunition were being imported freely by both parties 
without objection from the custom-house officials. Dr. Thomson 
said to me that the then existing dual government of Lebanon 

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Moslem Connivance 165 

could not last. A murderer in the north would find a refuge in 
the south, and a murderer in the Druse region had only to cross 
the Damascus Road and he was safe from arrest. The mountain 
thronged with untried and unhung murderers. The blood of 
their victims cried to God for vengeance. 

The Maronite Bishop Tobiya of Beirut organized a Maronite 
Young Men's League, for the extermination of the Druses. His 
chief lieutenant was one Aiub Beg Trabulsy, who once presented 
blooded Arab mares to Secretary William H. Seward In 
Damascus itself, the new liberties granted to the Christian sects, 
their growth in wealth, the appointment of their prominent men 
to foreign consular offices, with armed kavasses before whom 
haughty Moslem eifendis must stand aside and give way, and 
the inroads made on the pride and exclusiveness of Damascene 
Mohammedans, whose city was the third of the holy cities, 
ranking after Mecca and Jerusalem ; all these and other causes 
had kindled fires of fanatical hatred and preparations were made 
for the destruction of their Christian vassals and the restoration 
of the ancient glory of Islam. So holy was this city, and so 
strong the feeling of its divine rights, that up to that time the 
Ottoman government had exempted its population from the 
military conscription. 

Colonel Churchill lays great stress upon the point that the 
then existing dual kaimakamate in Lebanon was utterly dis- 
tasteful to the Turkish government, and that '* their object was 
to show (to the European Powers) that no government but their 
own could possibly succeed in Lebanon." 

In 1859 I was living in Tripoli, a seacoast city fifty miles 
north of Beirut. It is a Moslem city whose aristocratic families 
and Ulema look with disdain on the small population of Greeks 
and Maronites dwelling among them. But, as is generally the 
case, where the Christians are in a small minority, there had 
never been any attack by the Moslems on the Christians, but 
the chief reason was probably the existence of a powerful 
Maronite population in Lebanon, near by on the east, who 
often, out of mere bravado, threatened to attack the Moslems 

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]66 The Massacre Summer 

of Tripoli should they injure their Maronite and Greek fdlow 

But in Southern Lebanon matters had become critical. On 
the 30th of August, 1859, a quarrel between a Druse and a Chris- 
tian boy about a chicken led to a bloody ai&ay, in the village of 
Beit Mirri, nine miles east of Beirut on a high mountain range 
2,500 feet above the sea. Both Druses and Maronites were rein- 
forced and the battle raged a whole day in which the Druses lost 
in killed twenty-eight more than the Christians. The Druses, 
chafing under their defeat, began to prepare for civil war. All 
through the fall and winter, both sides hastened their preparations. 
The government of Beirut could have stopped these movements 
at any moment, and prohibited the importation of arms and am- 
munition. But for some reason they did not interfere. 

On the 26th of March, i860, 1 left my home in Tripoli with 
my wife, to attend the annual meeting of the mission in Beirut, 
expecting then to spend the spring and summer in Abeih, in 
Southern Lebanon, preparing an Arabic atlas and assisting Mr. 
Calhoun in the boys' seminary. The mission meeting was inter- 
esting and yet saddening. The Civil War in America had crip- 
pled the resources of the Board, and we were obliged to retrench, 
disbanding schools and reducing work in the press. We had the 
counsel of Mr. William A. Booth of New York, and Mr. Alpheus 
Hardy of Boston, who were in Beirut, having just completed the 
tour of Palestine, and while the general outlook was encouraging, 
all felt that a cloud of ominous portent hung over the land. Some 
of the American tourists, coming from Damascus early in April, 
found the Metawileh attacking the Christian villages southeast of 
Baalbec. Threatening rumours came from all parts of Lebanon, 
but it was felt that there would be no general outbreak until after 
the gathering of the silk crop and sale of the cocoons, as all par- 
ties depend on the silk crop for their livelihood. Mr. Calhoun, 
therefore, left April 5th for Aintab to visit that wonderful mission 
station, and returned May 22d. Mr. and Mrs. Bird of Deir d 
Komr, with Mr. and Mrs. Bliss, left on the same steamer for a 
visit to Tripoli, returning April 20th. On the 8th of May we 

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Gathering Clouds 167 

removed to Abeih and enjoyed the cheery hospitality of Mrs. 
Calhoun, whose bright disposition was like sunshine in the gloom 
of apprehension which filled all minds. The air was thick with 
news of outrage and murder : two Christians killed at Owaly 
bridge near Sidon, four Druses killed at Medairij on the Damas- 
cus Road, three Christians at Jisr el Kadi bridge ; two Moslems 
at Juneh north of Dog River near Beirut; muleteers carrying 
flour to Deir el Konu* stopped by the Druses, the highroad 
everywhere dangerous. The Druse leader, Said Beg Jumblatt, 
held constant councils, and his adherents poured in from all 

I was busy with my work, conducting Arabic prayers in the 
seminary at 6 a. m., Arabic Bible study in Isaiah at 8, and then 
working on the Arabic atlas with Mr. Ibrahim Sarkis. 

The Druse begs of Abeih, Kasim Beg Abu Nakad and his 
brothers, Said Beg and Selim Beg, were constant in their assur- 
ances that we need have no fear in Abeih, as they would guar- 
antee that whatever might occur, this village would be protected^ 
and they kept their word. Mr. Calhoun returned May 22d, 
finding great excitement in Beirut and all over the land. All 
confidence in the ruling authorities was lost. Dr. Thomson and 
the United States consul in Beirut sent up word urging us and 
Mr. Calhoun and family, and Mr. Bird and his family in Deir el 
Komr, to remove at once to Beirut. The consul sent up an armed 
kavass, together with Hamiyeh, a venerable Druse horseman 
from the Emir Ahmed Arslan at Shwifat, to remain with us and 
accompany us to Beirut. Mr. Bird replied that he could not 
come away and leave the Protestants in that field, as his presence 
was a protection to them. Mr. Calhoun declined to leave, and 
did not remove during the whole of that battle summer. The 
circumstances of my family made my duty more clear, as it was 
impossible to say when all communication between Beirut and 
Lebanon might be cut off. On the 23d we heard of ten murders 
in the Shuf district near Deir el Komr, and also the burning of 
the Maronite Convent of Ammeuk near Deir el Komr, and the 
murder of the superior in his bed. 

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i68 The Massacre Summer 

The placid, undisturbed peace of the saintly Mr. Calhoun was 
a joy and an inspiration. He knew the Druses well, better prob- 
ably than any foreigner, unless it were Colonel Churchill, who 
had lived among them twenty years, and written a history of 
their religion and their feudal families and the Lebanon. Every 
day the Druse begs called, and after giving Mr. Calhoun news of 
what was going on in other parts, renewed their assurances of 
perfect security in Abeih, where the bulk of the property belonged 
to the Druses, and the peasants were largely their tenants. Be- 
sides it was understood among the Druses that no American or 
Englishman was to be harmed. This was partly from shrewd 
policy, and partly because their only schools were those opened 
by the Americans. 

The Protestants in Ain Zehalteh, nine miles east of Deir el 
Komr, were now in danger, not from their own Druse begs, but 
from the horde of wild Druses from Hauran east of the Jordan, 
who were now pouring into Lebanon in response to signals 
flashed by fires from Lebanon to Hermon and from Hermon to 
the regions beyond. 

Mr. Ford came up from Sidon May 24th, and accompanied 
Mr. Calhoun to Suk el Gharb, to consult with Mr. Bliss with 
regard to the closing of the Suk Girls' Boarding-School, as the 
teachers were in a panic, and the parents were anxious to have 
their daughters sent home. That day three Druses were killed 
on the plain near Beirut. 

A Maronite champion now appeared on the scene, Ts^nnoos 
Shahin el Beitar, who had led the rebellion of the Kesrawan 
peasants against their feudal sheikhs of Beit el Khazin, with the 
aid of the Maronite patriarch. 

On Saturday the 26th| we made an American flag to hoist 
over the mission premises as a protection in case the hordes 
from Hauran should invade this district, for we had no fear from 
the Lebanon Druses. The whole population were in a state of 
apprehension. Bodies of armed Druses, horse and foot, marched 
from village to village, singing their weird song, " Ma hala. Ma 
hala, kotl en Nasara 1 " " How sweet, how sweet, to kill the 

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The Storm Bursts 169 

Christians/' Early on Sunday, May 27th, the Protestants of the 
village all came to Mr. Calhoun to get advice. Shall we stay or 
go down to Beirut? Mr. Birbari, teacher in the seminary, was 
much exercised, as his relatives were in Hadeth on the plain 
which was threatened by the Druses. Mr. Calhoun reassured 
him, and said that as soon as he thought it unsafe for them to 
stay he would give them word. Kasim Beg Abu Nakad came 
in and reassured them that nothing should happen in Abeih. 
At ten o'clock we went down to the little church under Mr. 
Calhoun's house. That church was an old tank or reservoir be- 
longing to the Im Hassein house which was burned in 1845, and 
repaired and occupied by Mr. Calhoun. It was my turn to 
preach. I looked down on a company of anxious faces. I had 
begun the service and was reading the first verse of '* My faith 
looks up to Thee," '' Araka bil eeman," when the report of a gun 
near by, followed by a scream, startled the congregation. Just 
then a man ran by the church door shouting, «« Abu Shehedan is 
killed. Rise and run for your lives 1 " That church was emptied 
in a moment It had been agreed beforehand among the Prot- 
estants, Greeks and Maronites, that if any Christian was killed in 
Abeih they would all run en masse down the steep mountain 
descent of six miles to Moallakah, a large Maronite village on the 
seashore and thence twelve miles to Beirut. So no time was 
needed for consultation. 

The entire male Christian population fled, over walls, terraces, 
vineyards and through pine groves and the rocky slope, avoiding 
the roads. A few fell by the way, waylaid by the Druses, but the 
great majority reached Moallakah in safety and some went on to 
Beirut. Kasim Beg came at once with the Druse sheikhs and ex- 
plained the matter to Mr. Calhoun and myself. He said that in 
the civil war of 1845, -^hu Shehedan killed xa Druse of Binnai, a 
small Druse village one mile over the ridge from Abeih, and the 
family had been watching for fifteen years an opportunity for re- 
venge, and this morning a small body of them crept in and sur- 
prised him and shot him. He said he regretted it deeply and had 
driven the men away, and would guarantee that there should be 

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170 The Massacre Summer 

no more shooting in Abeih. But his new assurances came too 
late. Not a Christian man or boy over ten years was left in the 
village. As the Druses never touch women in their wars, the 
Christian women and girls all remained. And now began a pro- 
cession of Maronite, Greek and Protestant women to the house 
of Mr. Calhoun. It was a little house of five small rooms below 
and two up-stairs, one of which, a low, vaulted room, part of an 
ancient castle ruined long ago, formed Mr. Calhoun's study. 
From the windows you could look down on the lower spurs of 
Lebanon and beyond them, fifteen miles away, in plain sight, on 
the Cape, the city of Beirut. Every one of these women 
brought a bundle of valuables to deposit for safe-keeping with 
Mrs. Calhoun. There was gold and silver money, jewelry, 
precious stones, bridal dresses embroidered with gold thread, and 
even rugs. These things had no labels, were unsealed, and the 
women did not ask for receipts, so absolute was their confidence 
in these good missionaries. Mrs. Calhoun's closets were soon 
full and piles of bundles lay on the floors. Four months later, 
September 25th, when a detachment of the French army, which 
had landed in Beirut August i6th, moved in two columns into 
Lebanon, the Druses fell into a panic and stampeded to Hauran, 
leaving their women and children behind, and then the Druse 
women in town brought their jewelry and treasures and threw 
them at Mrs. Calhoun's feet, so that these missionaries, who had 
been years before cursed and excommunicated by the Maronite 
patriarch, bishops and priests, as " incarnate devils," now held in 
trust without a receipt all the wealth of both Christians and 

That Sunday was a weary and dismal day. All to the north 
we could see the smoke of burning villages, and just below 

'This confidence of the people in the missionaries continues to this 
day, and the Syrian emigrants of all sects, in the United States, Brazil 
and Australia, often send back their savings to their families in sterling 
drafts on London payable to the order of the American missionaries. 
Mr. W. K. Eddy in one year received thousands of pounds in this way, 
and he deposited the money and paid it out through his own checks. 

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Druse Successes 171 

Abeih a Maronite village was burned. Scores of frightened 
women and children filled the open court oi Mr. Calhoun's house^ 
crowded on the pavement, making it difficult for Mrs. Jessup and 
myself to reach the rickety wooden staircase leading up to our 
room. That room had a second door opening upon the terrace 
above towards the boys' seminary, but we fdt so little concern 
about Mr. Calhoun's house that we did not look to see whether 
that upper door was locked. We soon had occasion to regret 
the oversight. 

Monday, May 28th, we had finished the sheets of the Arabic 
atlas. Messrs. Appleton in New York had prepared the maps in 
outline, putting in the rivers, mountains, etc., and we had written 
in the names in Arabic in India ink. These sheets were placed 
in a tin case and shipped, June 30th, on the bark Speedwell to 
the United States, and there the artists t>hotographed them upon 
stone and printed an edition, the first correct atlas in the Arabic 
language. Kasim Beg sent to Moallakah and tried to induce the 
refugees to return and attend to their crops, but in vain. Mr. 
Bird sent a boy messenger from Deir el Komr saying that the 
water-supply was cut off, and the people in great straits for food, 
as the Druses had stopped all traffic on the roads. That evening 
Rev. J. A. Ford, Mr. P. Carabet and three guards arrived from 
Beirut with orders from the consul that we remove to Beirut. 

On the 27th of May, 3,000 men of Zahleh advanced to attack 
the Druses of the Arkoob, near Aindara. On the Damascus Road 
they were encountered by 600 Druses led by their sheikhs and 
after fighting all day, the Christians were defeated and fled. The 
Druses then entered the Metn at Modairij, and burned down some 
Christian villages. Indeed during the month of the war, some 
sixty villages in that district were entirely destroyed. The 
Christians lacked leaders and discipline. Every priest, monk and 
sheikh wanted to lead and give orders, and the result was utter 
confusion and defeat. They were brave enough, but had no 
good leaders. The Druses on the contrary had perfect discipline, 
skillful and daring leaders and all moved as one man. 

Khurshid Pasha of Beirut had stationed a regiment of Turkish 

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172 The Massacre Summer 

troops at Hazimiyeh, three miles from Beirut at the foot of 
Lebanon, on the road running from Northern to Southern 
Lebanon. Tannoos el Beitar, hearing that the large Maronite 
villages of Baabda and Hadeth near Beirut, home of the Shehab 
emirs, were in danger, sent 300 men to protect them. The 
pasha allowed the force to go to Baabda, but the next day. May 
29th, sent word to the emirs to send back the reinforcements, as 
he would protect them. They obeyed, but immediately the mass 
of the male inhabitants fled to Beirut, having lost all faith in his 
assurancies of protection. On the morning of May 30th, the 
Druses from our part of Lebanon descended on Baabda and 
Hadeth, compelling their Greek and Protestant tenants to go with 
them and help in burning those two fine villages. We saw the 
column of black smoke ascending all that day, and the Druse 
begs came in and told us what had been done. 

At 9 p. M. we went up-stairs. I closed the door at the head 
of the stairs and lighted the candle on the bureau. Just then 
Mrs. Jessup, who was hardly able to bear a sudden shock, called 
out '* Listen I " and hurried into the vaulted study which was in 
darkness. I turned and saw the bedstead shaking violently, and 
just then out crawled a burly fellah, who rushed to me trying to 
kiss my feet and begging to be allowed to stay under my protec- 
tion. I had never seen him before, and ordered him to leave. I 
never carry weapons and was glad I had none at that time, or he 
might have followed Abu Shehedan. He refused to go. I 
threw open the door at the head of the stairs and pushed him to- 
wards it, and planting my foot in the middle of his back, sent 
him headlong down the stairs. He fell into the crowd of women 
who were gathered there and were allowed to sleep there, and 
they broke into terrified screams. Then there came a clamour of 
voices and a loud laugh. " Why," said they, " it's old Shaheen« 
He was afraid of the Druses and crept in through the upper door 
^and under the bed, expecting you to protect him ! " He was al- 
lowed to stay near the house all night, but the nervous shock 
was not soon forgotten. All that night, the drear sound of the 
Druse war-song echoed over the mountains and would startle us 

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Unconcern of the Turks 173 

from sleep. On this day, May 29th, the Druse begs came and 
begged Mr. Calhoun to write the European consuls, and secure 
their influence to stop the war. Mr. Calhoun was anxious to go 
to Deir el Komr to see Mr. Bird and confer about his removal to 
Abeih, but the Druse begs advised him not to go, owing to the 
marauding parties on the roads and passes. We could hear 
firing to the north and east and south and the air was lurid with 
smoke. Here were the subjects of the Porte killing one another 
and destroying the mountain villages, and yet the pasha's troops 
outside of Beirut looked on, doing nothing, but occasionally aiding 
the Druse bands in killing Lebanon refugees on the highways 
leading to Beirut Khurshid Pasha was afterwards brought to 
trial and, at least temporarily, disgraced. After burning Hadeth 
and Baabda, the property destroyed in Central Lebanon was im- 
mense. The silk crop comprising tons of cocoons had been 
carried off or burned. The Druses hurried on with mules, 
donkeys and camels to remove their plunder, and '' hundreds of 
Maronites with their families flying from the Druse mountains 
and coming north to Beirut by the seashore were suddenly 
intercepted by the Druses and Turkish irregulars and cut to 
pieces, the latter sparing neither woman nor child."* The 
gardens around Beirut now became hourly thronged with masses 
of unhappy fugitives, lying about under the trees in all directions, 
some bleeding, some naked, all in the last stage of destitution. 

The Europeans in Beirut now bestirred themselves to aid the 
sufferers, and subscriptions were appealed for to America and 
England. We could hear the Druses on all sides rejoicing over 
their victories. Kasim Beg sent down to Moallakah-by-the-Sea, 
and begged the Abeih Christians to return, but they refused, and 
soon all reached Beirut and crowded our mission premises. On 
the morning of the 30th of May, Mr. Hurter, our good mission 
printer, arrived in Abeih, bringing muleteers and a ** Takht-el- 
Erwam," or palanquin, to convey Mrs. Jessup to Beirut. So, on 
the 31st of May, we set out for Beirut, over that rough, rocky, 
tortuous road, the muleteers steadying the takht to keep it from 
^ Churchill, p. 146. 

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174 I'h^ Massacre Summer 

capsizing in the narrow zigzags of the road We were frequently 
passed by armed bodies of Druses hastening north to the Metn 
district, the men carrying guns, swords and ammunition and the 
women bread and water. These Druses saluted us with profuse 
salutations and we had no fear whatever of beinjg; molested. Our 
course lay along the shelf or terrace of Lebanon, keeping at about 
the height of 2,500 feet above the sea, passing Ainab and Shem- 
lan, and thence to Suk el Gharb, the home of Mr. and Mrs. 
Daniel Bliss, and the site of our girls' boarding-schooL We found 
the village in great excitement. They were all Orthodox Greeks 
and Protestants, and were in favour with the Druses, and donning 
white turbans for their own protection, had been forced to help 
in the burning of Baabda and Hadeth. Their white turbans had 
saved them from being killed by Turkish irregulars, who hung 
around the villages during the pillage and burning. Our nine 
horsemen, including the three armed guards, and the attendants, 
made a heavy draught on the hospitality of Mrs. Bliss, especially 
as it was now well-nigh impossible to get provisions from Beirut, 
and no flour could get through from Damascus. Mr. Bliss and I 
walked over to the neighbouring house to see the famous Colonel 
Churchill, the English officer of engineers, who stood on his flat 
roof watching with his field-glass the burning villages of the 
Metn. This remarkable man of the Marlborough family came 
to Syria at the time of the bombardment in 1841, remained as 
British agent, and, liking the climate, settled at B'Howwara in a 
Lebanon valley, married a Syrian lady and spent nineteen years 
in studying the history of Lebanon and especially the religion 
and history of the Druses, and published two octavo volumes 
which are reliable and deeply interesting. He was allied by his 
second marriage with the Maronite Shehabs and yet was the con- 
fidential adviser and military counsellor of the Druse begs and 
sheikhs. Regarding this war as begun by the Maronite patriarch 
and bishops, who openly announced their plan for exterminating 
the Druses, and anticipating that, after a short season of village 
burning and plunder as had been usual in previous civil wars, 
peace would be restored, he threw his whole influence on the side 

Digitized by 


Escaping to Beirut 175 

of the Druses, and actually planned the " Bethel and Ai " cam- 
paign against Zahleh. But, in justice to him, it should be said 
that as soon as the Druses, with the aid of Turkish military of- 
ficers of the Nizam, or regular army, began to disarm the Chris- 
tians and then massacre them like sheep, he turned against them, 
wrote to them and spoke to them denouncing them as wild beasts 
and fiends. His book on '< The Druses and Maronites " is the 
only correct published account of the struggle of i860 and its 
political causes and results. 

At 2 p. M. we resumed our march to Beirut, taking Miss 
Temple and the teachers, with nine girls of the boarding-school 
and a crowd of refugees. The descent over rocks and ledges on 
the old mule track was a perilous one for the takht, with one 
mule ahead and the other behind, but we at length reached the 
plain at Kefr Shima, and in five hours and a half reached Beirut, 
not having seen a living creature on this road generally thronged, 
excepting one black slave looking for plunder in the smoking 
ruins of Hadeth and an ownerless, hungry dog. All the way 
down we could see the columns of smoke in Lebanon, showing 
that some twenty-five villages were in flames. We saw the 
Turkish military camp whose sole object seemed to be to restrain 
the Maronites and give the Druses a free hand. 

We found Beirut in a ferment, the Moslems morose and in- 
solent, threatening trouble, and tht Christian refugees, terror- 
stricken, hungry and shelterless, fearing for their lives and not 
knowing whom to trust. Their ecclesiastics had urged them to 
begin the war, and now were powerless to aid them. We found 
it necessary to open relief measures at once. Two hundred and 
fifty refugees were sleeping in the room now occupied by the 
steam printing machines of the American Press. We had daily 
religious services and the crowds of fellahin sleeping on our 
premises would venture in and hear words of heavenly comfort. 
The new translation of the New Testament had just been pub- 
lished, and it was ready for hundreds, and later on for thousands, 
who had heretofore been taught by their priests that Protestants 
were the enemies of God and man. 

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176 The Massacre Summer 

Our missionaries were now at their stations : Dr. Thomson and 
Mr. Hurter in Beirut. Dr. and Mrs. Van Dyck had just gone to 
Europe on furlough on account of his impaired health ; Messrs. 
J. A. Ford and W. W. Eddy were in Sidon ; Mr. Bird in Deir el 
Komr ; Mr. Calhoun in Abeih ; Mr. Benton in Bhamdoun, Mr. 
Wilson in Hums and Mr. Lyons in Tripoli. I occupied the house 
of Dr. Van Dyck in Beirut. 

Letters from all the stations agreed in the existence of a reign 
of panic and terror among the Christian population everywhere. 
The American and Irish United Presbyterian missionaries in Da- 
mascus wrote of constant threats by Moslems of a general massacre 
of all Christians and foreigners. It was even said by Druses, Mos- 
lems, Metawileh and Arabs, that orders to that eflfect had come 
from Constantinople. About this time Mr. Wilson, with his Syrian 
helper, Mr. Sulleebajerawan, set out from Hums to Tripoli to get 
information as to the state of things and consult with Mr. Lyons 
as to duty. On reaching the bridge of the Orontes, three miles 
from Hums, they were suddenly surrounded by a party of Beda- 
win Arabs, who ordered them to dismount. Mr. Wilson spoke 
to his companion in English, telling him to say nothing, but 
listen to what the Arabs would say. One said, " Let us kill them. 
Our lord, the Sultan, has ordered us to kill every ghawir ' (infidel) 
native or foreign. We can throw their bodies into the Aasy 
(Orontes), and take their clothing and horses as booty." Another 
objected, ** We cannot do this without orders from the sheikh. 
Let us take them to the sheikh and do his bidding." This counsel 
prevailed, and to the sheikh's tent they went A little after, the 
sheikh arrived, and Mr. Wilson told him the story, and asked 
why his men had arrested them on the public highway. The 
sheikh replied, " Khowaja, it is a time of peril. No road is safe 
now. Why did you set out for Tripoli through that always dan- 
gerous region without a guard from the governor of Hums ? I 
will escort you back to Hums, to the governor, and there my re- 
sponsibility ceases. Be sure not to go again without a guard." 
They went to Hums, obtained a guard, and made the journey to 
Tripoli and back safely. But ere long Mr. Wilson was persuaded 

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Said Beg Victorious 177 

to remove his family and go with Mr. Lyons and his family to 
the seaside village of Enfeh, nine miles south of Tripoli, where they 
were in a Christian Greek population, and had a quiet summer. 

Said Beg Jumblatt had by this time assumed the command of 
the Druse forces of Lebanon, and hearing, through an intercepted 
letter from the Maronite bishops to the people of Zahleh and 
Deir el Komr, that the Maronites boasted of " an army 50,000 
strong," whereas the Druses could only muster 12,000, and that 
this was " a war of religion," resolved on " war to the knife." 

On June ist, 4,000 Druses suddenly attacked Deir el Komr. 
The Jumblatts, Abu Nakads, Amads and Hamadis poured down 
upon the town. Only half of the Christians joined in the defense. 
The other half had made secret submission to the Abu Nakads. 
Yet the battle lasted all day, the Druses losing 100 killed, as the 
Christians fired from their stone houses. June 2d, the town sur- 
rendered to the Druses, and the day following Tahir Pasha ar- 
rived from Beirut with 400 soldiers. After the surrender, the 
Druses burned 1 30 houses and then retired. The pasha remained 
a fortnight and although the people were suffering from famine 
and want of water, he assured them of their safety and said, 
"Resume your ordinary occupations. Fear nothing. Deir el 
Komr is as safe as Constantinople." June i8th he returned to 

Said Beg now attacked Jezzin. His brother, Selim Beg, led 
2,000 Druses who suddenly pounced on the town. The people 
fled. Twelve hundred were cut down on the mountain. The 
women and children fled down towards Sidon, joined by hundreds 
of men pursued by Kasim Amadi, agent of Said Beg. As this 
body of 300 Christians approached the walls of Sidon, the gates 
were closed against them, and they were attacked by a horde of 
city Moslems and village Metawilehs, who slaughtered them alL 
The house of Dr. Eddy in Sidon was on the eastern wall, and 
from his window he saw Moslem acquaintances killing these un- 
armed fugitives and called on them to desist. But the bloody 
work went on. Young girls and women were carried off" by their 
assailants who heeded not their screams for help. 

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178 The Massacre Summer 

Several Catholic monasteries and nunneries were invaded, 
robbed and burned^ nuns being carried oflf, and in some instances 
suffered personal violence. " In the wealthy convent of Mesh- 
moushy, thirty monks had their throats cut." ^ The plunder here 
was something fabulous, — in gold vases, cups, jewelled crosses 
sparkling with diamonds, besides whole heaps of money, the ac- 
cumulated stores of a century. The whole was valued at ;f 80,000. 
The buildings, after being stripped of furniture, doors and win- 
dow-shutters, were burned. 

In Sidon itself the alarm had become appalling, and the lives 
of the Christian natives. Catholic and Protestant, as well as the 
two missionary families, were in imminent peril from the Mos- 
lems. But the opportune arrival of H. B. M. ship Firefly^ Cap- 
tain Mansell, June 3d, and the vigorous measures taken by that 
gallant officer, overawed the governor and the populace, and re- 
stored confidence to the people. 

The Druses now turned their attention to Hasbeiya. Sixteen 
years before, in 1844, thirty armed horsemen from Zahleh had 
come to Hasbeiya and driven out eighty Protestants who would 
not give up the right to read the Word of God. The Greek 
bishop of Hasbeiya was in league with the pugnacious Zahleh 
** defenders of the faith." But now, alas, both towns were to fall 
victims to Druse ferocity. 

i There were in Hasbeiya two characters whose names have gone 
down to everlasting infamy, Osman Beg, the Turkish colonel, 
and the Sitt Naaify, sister of Said Beg Jumblatt. Osman as a 
soldier may have thought he was obeying orders, but his sum- 
mary execution in August for treachery, by Fuad Pasha, would 
indicate that his conduct in Hasbeiya was the result of his own 
fanatical hatred of Christians. Sitt Naaify was a woman of great 
intellectual power, sternness and duplicity, yet none could sur- 
pass her in apparent courtesy and hospitality. These two were 
in constant conference, she in her palace above the town and he 
in the seraia in the midst of the town. 

On Sunday, June 3d, the Druse forces surrounded Hasbeiya. 
^Churcbilli p. 157. 

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Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Sitt Naaify — A Syrian Jezebel 179 

The Christians demanded protection from Osman Beg. He told 
them to go out and defend themselves. They went out and 
fought all day and then returned en masse and took refuge in the 
spacious seraia. Then Osman asked the Sitt Naaify her wishes. 
She replied unconditional surrender and the delivering up of their 
arms. Osman gave them a written guarantee, pledging the 
faith of the government for their personal safety. The next 
morning she came down and witnessed the stacking of their 
arms. The best were selected by the Druses and the Turks 
and the rest, eight hundred stand, were packed on mules osten- 
sibly to be taken to Damascus, but actually divided among the 

The unfortunate Christians in the seraia were now enduring 
the double misery of imprisonment and starvation. Water was 
hardly to be got. Bread was scarce and at exorbitant prices. 
The men lived chiefly on bran, dried beans and vine leaves, and 
gradually they lost strength, hope and courage. The women in 
despair tore off their ornaments and gave them to the Turkish 
soldiers, to move them to pity. They appealed with frantic grief 
to Sitt Naaify to release their husbands and fathers. She se- 
lected a few who were tenants of her son-in-law, Selim Beg, and 
ako asked the Protestants to accept the protection of her house. 
A few consented, but the rest said, " No, Osman Beg has prom- 
ised to protect us and why should we go to you ? " Colonel 
Churchill insists that she protected the men in her house in order 
that, when the day of reckoning came, she might prove her 
clemency and favour to the Christians. I notice in Black's life 
of the Marquess of Dufferin, he claims that the Sitt Naaify was a 
noble woman, " a bright exception to the above record of bar- 
barity, that she took on herself to shelter within her house four 
hundred Christian fugitives, and when their would-be murderers, 
panting for more blood, demanded of her to give up the dogs of 
Christians, she replied, ' Enter if you dare, and take them.' The 
poor refugees by command of their patroness were carefully es- 
corted to Mukhtara, thence to Sidon, and thence brought off by 
a British man-of-war to Beirut." Colonel Churchill, who was in 

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i8o The Massacre Summer 

constant communication with the Druses, gives an entirely differ- 
ent account, as we shall see. 

Word of the condition of Hasbeiya reached Damascus, and the 
Christian bishops and European consuls demanded of Ahmed 
Pasha the governor that he send immediate relief to Hasbeiya. 
So he ordered a Druse sheikh, Kenj d Amad, who had been for 
a fortnight laying waste the Bookaa With fire and sword, burning 
Christian villages and slaying every Christian he could overtake, 
to proceed with 150 horsemen to bring all the Christians of Has- 
beiya and Rasheiya to Damascus I Stopping at Karaoon he took 
sixty Christians with him, and being joined on the way by Ali Beg 
Hamady, the lieutenant of Said Beg Jumblatt, they entered 
Hasbeiya together on June loth. The fugitives were thrust into 
the seraias and the order of Ahmed Pasha was read. The Chris- 
tians were overjoyed, and cried, " Long live the Sultan ! " Kenj 
and Ali Beg then went to Sitt Naaify to receive orders. Colonel 
Churchill says, " All depended upon Sitt Naaify. Whatever was 
to be said must be said quickly. Ali Hamady had to make a 
last, perhaps a presumptuous appeal, and he made it. Said Beg 
was inflexible, but a woman's heart might yet relent. ' Are the 
Christians all to be massacred ? ' said he, earnestly looking in her 
face. ' Think of their families, the widows and the orphan babes, 
and take compassion. Spare those fine young men. Execute 
the leaders, the most turbulent, the most obnoxious. Come down 
and see fAem executed if you will, but spare, oh, spare the rest I * 
* Impossible,' she exclaimed, * impossible ; my brother's orders are 
peremptory and explicit,' holding a letter from him in her hands. 
« Not a Christian is to be left alive from seven to seventy years/ 
Not another word was uttered. The Druses now thronged to 
the seraia. Colonel Osman Beg ordered the trumpets to sound. 
The soldiers stood to their arms. The seraia is three stories high, 
surrounding an open court in the middle with spacious chambers 
and lofty corridors. The soldiers now drove the Christians down 
into the central court, beating and stabbing them and tearing off 
their clothes. The gates were then thrown open and the Druses 
rushed in with a loud yell. The soldiers were ordered to go out. 

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The Butchery at Hasbeiya i8i 

and then the butchery began, the Druses first firing and then 
springing on the unarmed Christians with yataghans, swords and 
hatchets. Yusef Raies, who had paid two hundred pounds to 
Osman Beg for protection, was the first victim. Then the Moslem 
Shehab emir, Saad ed Deen, was decapitated, and his head sent 
as a trophy to Said Beg. He had befriended the Christians. 
Thirty other Shehab emirs were also killed. Then the Protestant 
elder, Abu Monsur Barakat, who had been stoned and persecuted 
by many of these Greek neighbours around him, seeing the im- 
pending fate of all, stood up and prayed for them all and for the 
fiendish Druse butchers, and as he prayed he was cut down by a 
battle-axe. And as he said, ' In Thy name, Lord Jesus,' his 
murderer responded, < Call upon your Jesus and see whether He 
can help you now I Don't you know God is a Druse ? ' " 

Nine Protestants were killed in the seraia : of the remainder, 
some took refuge at Sitt Naaify's, who saved them, it is believed, 
in order to prove to the English her own innocence, and some fled 
through the mountains to Tyre. 

Colonel Churchill says that in the evening Sitt Naaify went to the 
seraia, and " for a long time feasted her eyes on the ghastly 
sight." Eight hundred mangled corpses lay piled on each other 
before her. " Well done, my good and faithful Druses," she ex- 
claimed ; '* this is just what I expected from you." 

Osman Beg then gathered the women and children and took 
them to Damascus, where on the 9th of July they went through 
another massacre. 

We in Beirut received constant news from Hasbeiya, and all 
the surrounding region, of burning, pillage, and universal ruin. 
Thousands fled by night to Tyre and there awaited transport to 
Beirut. Mr. Eddy and Mr. Bliss now went to the British Consul- 
General Moore and asked for one of his armed kavasses to go as 
their escort, and they would go to Hasbeiya and try to save the 
imprisoned Christians. The consul-general, acting with the pro- 
Turkish policy of Palmerston of absolute non-interference, de- 
dined, saying that he " could not interfere in the domestic af- 
fairs of the Turkish Empire." As no one could go without such 

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i82 The Massacre Summer 

an escort, and the Druses would respect none but a British guard, 
the journey was reluctantly abandoned. Then came the dreadful 
news, on Thursday, June 14th, that on Sunday, June loth, 800 
Christians were massacred in Hasbeiya. Every Christian house 
was burned, as was the Protestant Church. The Druses carried 
off the bell and the furniture before firing the roof. 

On Friday a crowd of refugees arrived by sea from Tyre and 
came to my house. Among them was a Hasbeiya Protestant, 
Jebran Haslob. His clothes and hair were matted with blood. 
In the seraia he had covered himself with dead bodies, lay in a 
pool of blood until 2 A. m., when he crept to a window, let him- 
self down to the ground and ran all night to the west, and by 
hiding in the daytime and traveUing at night, he reached Tyre 
exhausted. There he got food and was sent on board a ship com- 
ing to Beirut His accounts were heartrending.* 

Just before the Hasbeiya massacre, Mr. Bliss had volunteered 
to take a mule train loaded with flour to relieve Mr. Bird and his 
large family. During the siege, Mr. Bird had gone through the 
Druse lines to Ain Zehalteh and brought away thirty Protestants. 
They reached B'teddin after sunset and as firing was going on, 
the Druse sheikhs insisted on his waiting there until morning, before 
entering Deir el Komr. All that night houses were burning right 
in the direction of his own house, and the flash of musketry was 
incessant. The next morning he entered the town with these 
thirty refugees, thirty more mouths to feed and the town supplies 
cut off! So Mr. Bliss had some apprehension that he would not 
be able to get through the cordon of besiegers. About an hour 
this side of Deir el Komr he passed through the Druse village of 

* In December the Sitt Naaify was brought to Beirut. Her house was 
at once surrounded by hundreds of Hasbeiyan widows wailing and 
shouting, ''Give back our husbands, brothers and sons 1 " They sent 
word to Fuad Pasha that if she appeared in the streets she would be 
torn to pieces. She was thrown into prison and placed on trial. On 
the nth of the following May, her brother, Said Beg Jumblatt, died in 
the Beirut prison. On November 37, i860, the infamous Mutsellim of 
Deir el Komr died suddenly in the barracks, and rumour was busy as 
to his having drunk a fatal cup of coffee. 

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Hamiyeh and His Cucumber 183 

B'Shafteen. Suddenly a Druse sprang out from a hedge, rushed 
up, seized the bridle of Mr. Bliss's horse with his left hand and 
drew out from under his cloak with his right hand, and thrust to- 
wards Mr. Bliss a long cucumber I The situation was so grotesque 
that all burst into laughter. Years after Dr. Bliss, as president of 
the Syrian Protestant College, passed that way, and seeing the 
selfsame Druse by the wayside, recognized him, and asked his 
name. '* Hamiyeh," he said. " All right," said Dr. Bliss, ** come 
to Beirut and you shall have work." He came, and for some 
twenty years was the faithful gatekeeper of the college, true to 
his trust and Uked equally by the teachers and pupils. 

Mr. Bliss reached Deir el Komr in safety. Bushir Beg Abu 
Nakad passed him through the lines to Mr. Bird's house. This 
was June 12th. Mr. Bird did not feel willing to come away then, 
but said he would do so whenever it was plain duty. He felt 
that his presence was a restraint on the Druses, but the large 
company in his house and the gathered treasure of the people 
made the situation extremely perilous to himself and family. So 
Mr. Bliss returned alone to Beirut with his Moslem muleteers and 
American consular kavass. 

Just at this time Dr. Thomson sent to me an elderly Arabic 
scholar, asking me as an act of charity to employ him as an 
Arabic teacher. He was a white-bearded and truly venerable 
man, Tannoos es Shidiak, from Hadeth, brother of the Protestant 
martyr, Asaad es Shidiak, who was starved to death by order of 
the Maronite patriarch, just thirty-two years before. Tannoos in 
1825 gave his brother Paris a caning for reading the Bible and 
other books belonging to Asaad. He was now very friendly to 
us Protestants and having fled with his fellow townsmen May 
29th, before the burning of Hadeth, he had lost everything, 
having barely a quilt to cover him at night. So I read daily 
with him in Arabic his '* History of Mount Lebanon and its 
Feudal Families." It was an opportune time to read of the old 
families of sheikhs and begs who were now in deadly strife, with 
the aid of the author himself, but the circumstances were not 
favourable for much consecutive study. 

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184 T^^ Massacre Summer 

Ships of war now began to arrive in the port ; the Firefly had 
been on the coast for many months making a chart of the entire 
Syrian coast for the British Admiralty, and Captain Mansell's 
charts are now the standard for all navigators in these waters. 
Captain Mansell gave himself cordially to the work of protecting 
the seacoast cities. Then came the Gannet, a gunboat, and the 
Exmauth, eighty guns, Captain Paynter. There ako arrived two 
French war steamers, and a Russian fifty-gun ship. 

On the 14th of June Mr. Eddy came from Sidon on ^t Firefly ^ 
bringing dreadful particulars of the work of burning and mas- 
sacre all through his missionary district, from Tyre to Sidon, and 
east to Merj Aiyun and Hasbeiya ; Khiyam, Ibl and Deir Mimas 
burned, churches ruined, schools scattered, people either killed, 
or refugees, and all possibility of itineration or missionary work 
at an end for the present As the time for his furlough was near, 
the mission authorized him to take his family to the United 
States and he sailed June 26th. Mr. Ford also left Sidon and 
came to Beirut to aid us in the work of caring for the refugees. 

So many thousands of refugees had now come to Beirut that 
the Moslem populace became threatening, and there was a gen- 
eral panic and stoppage of business. Every night hundreds of 
Maronites and Greeks went on board the shipping in the harbour 
to sleep, and the conduct of the traitorous Khurshid Pasha only 
increased the public anxiety. The European consuls warned 
him of the dangers of the situation, but no one trusted him. 

Two Christian strongholds now remained in Lebanon, Zahleh, 
which had hitherto defied the Druses, and Deir el Komr, which 
lay helpless and starving in their hands. On June 14th, Ismail 
el Atrosh, the leader of the Hauran Druses, after massacring 700 
Christians in Rashaiyat el Wady, joined his forces with the Leb- 
anon Druses and moved up the Bookaa to attack Zahleh. This 
town, then of 10,000 inhabitants, lies on both sides of a narrow 
valley through which roars and dashes the cold mountain stream, 
the Bardouni. It is four miles north of the Damascus Road on 
the eastern slope of the Lebanon range. Its people had been for 
years prosperous, trading in wheat, sheep and siUc, and they had 

Digitized by 



An Ancient Battle-Field 

not only defied the Druses but the government itself, im,^ 
were a rough, hardy, vigorous race and if well led, and had they 
been supported by the bragging horde of Maronites just west of 
them and not ten miles distant, could have defended their town 
against even the 8,000 Druses who were coming to attack them. 
But the Kesrawan sheikhs, monks and priests contended for the 
right to command, and no one moved to the relief of Zahleh. In 
Zahleh itself counsels were divided. Jealous disputes arose, and 
the different parties charged each other with treason. Yet on 
the morning of the 14th, 200 horse and 600 foot sallied forth to 
the plain of the Bookaa to meet their foe. This great plain, fifty 
miles long and from five to ten miles wide, has been a battle-field 
from the days of Sargon and Nebuchadnezzar down to i86o. 
The Christians were defeated and dispersed and the Kurds, 
Arabs and Druses returned to their camp carrying seventy Chris- 
tian heads on the points of their spears. The next day the Chris- 
tians repeated the sortie with similar results. The Turkish kai- 
makam at Moallakah, a suburb of Zahleh, now tried to persuade 
the Zahlehites to give up their arms and trust to him and his soldiers 
to protect them, but they declined and preferred to trust to their 
own right arms. 

On the morning of the iSth, the Druses attacked from the 
plain, repeating the tactics of Joshua at Ai, drawing the Zahleh 
men, numbering some 4,000 men, out of their town, and down 
the valley below Moallakah, when suddenly from tlie heights 
above, 1,200 Druses came running down. They soon reached 
the centre of the town and set fire to the houses, when the Zahleh 
army, panic-stricken, turned and fled up the northern side of the 
gorge, fighting as they went, the Druses picking ofT stragglers, 
but before sunset the entire population had crossed the ridge to 
the northwest 3,000 feet above the town and reached the Mar- 
onite districts, whither the Druses cared not to pursue them. 
The town was now plundered and laid in ashes. That is, the 
poplar wood ceilings and roofs were burned out and the limestone 
and adobe walls left standing. The churches were rifled. The 
great church of Saiyedet en Neja, '* The Lady of Refuge/' i. i., 

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i86 The Massacre Summer 

the Virgin, which the priests had told the people would mirac- 
ulously protect the town, was destroyed, only bare walls left 
standing. The most of the money and jewelry was saved and 
the Zahleh people were able to return in the fall and rebuild, 
before the people of any other town. 

The fall of Zahleh filled the Christians with consternation. 
The cowardice of the Maronites and the conduct of the Turks 
had betrayed them. ** Though 15,000 Maronites were standing 
by their arms within six hours of Zahleh, not one moved to its 
defense, owing to the treason of their selfish aristocracy and the 
bombastic ravings of their bigoted and contemptible priesthood."^ 

And now came the turn of Deir el Komr. Through the 
urgent demands of the United States consul in Beirut and the 
advice of his fellow missionaries, Mr. Bird brought his family 
over, three hours' ride, across the deep gorge of the Damur River 
to Abeih, on Monday, June i8th. He was obliged to leave the 
thirty Protestants of Ain Zehalteh in his house, and the Druse 
sheikhs promised, as Mr. Bird came away, that his house should 
not be molested. On that day Mr. Calhoun came down to Beirut 
and we had a mission conference that evening at Dr. Thomson's. 
Mr. Ford of Sidon reported that the Metawileh chiefs of Belad 
Beshara had brought multitudes of Christian refugees to Sidon 
and the governor refused to admit them until compelled to do 
so by the English vice-consul. It was a relief to know that Mr. 
Bird was safely out of Deir el Komr, as the Druse vultures of 
Hauran and the whole Druse army of Lebanon were now sur- 
rounding that ill-fated town. 

: We were driven to earnest prayer. The element of fury and 
the thirst for blood were raging unrestrained. Damascus was 
threatened. Beirut was threatened. Provisions were becoming 
dearer, and thousands were without food or shelter. Dr. Thomson 
said, " Brethren, the work of forty years is destroyed, and if we 
are spared, we must begin again." Others said, " It cannot be 
that the new translation of the Scriptures is to be in vain, or that 
the foundations already laid can be utterly uprooted." We all 
* Churchilli p. 189. 

Digitized by 


Treachery at Deir el Komr 187 

felt that the plowshare of the divine judgments was rending the 
soil of Syria to prepare the way for a new seed sowing in the 

On Tuesday, the 19th of June, Mr. Calhoun returned to Abeih 
as calm and unquestioning as if he had been in a New England 
village. His peace was like a river and comforted and en- 
couraged us alL On that same day the Druses began to con- 
centrate around Deir el Komr. Kasim Beg in Abeih told Mr. 
Calhoun on his return that matters looked serious for Deir el 
Komr. The Christians there asked Abd es Salaam Beg, the 
Turkish colonel, what was the meaning of this new army of 
Druses. He replied that there was no real cause for alarm, but 
they had better bring their valuables to the seraia, where they 
would be safe until order was restored. " Forthwith, men, women 
and children began streaming into that building from every 
quarter, carrying trunks, chests and bundles filled with clothes, 
linen and jewelry, with gold, pearls and diamonds in profusion^ 
an immense booty which the Turks proceeded to divide among 
themselves. The majority of the men were now crowded within 
the seraia and adjoining buildings. Then began the slaughter. 
Every Christian in the streets and houses was cut down. They 
had been disarmed by the Turkish colonel on promise of pro- 
tection. Priests fled to their churches and were butchered before 
their altars " (Churchill). 

On Thursday the 12th, Ali Beg Hamady led the armed 
Druses to the seraia and demanded admittance. The kaimakam 
(colonel) refused to open the gates but pointed to a low wall 
close by. Over went Uie Druses " like bloodhounds into a sheep- 
fold,'' and began to hew in pieces the helpless men within the 
walls. With axes, swords and bill hooks the slaughter of 
Hasbeiya was repeated. For six long hours the infernal work 
went on. *< The blood at length rose above the ankles, flowed 
along the gutters, gushed out of the waterspouts and gurgled 
through the streets. The Turkish colonel sat smoking his pipe, 
the bowl resting on a corpse, and the stream of blood running 
beneath him into the inner court" Not a body was buried. 

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i88 The Massacre Summer 

Twenty-two hundred bodies lay, heaps on heaps, nearly all that 
was left of the manhood of Deir el Komr. The Druse leaders at 
once gathered the women and children, and led them, a heart- 
broken and terror-stricken company, down to the mouth of the 
Damur River on the sea, and sent word politely to the English 
consul to send and take them to Beirut. 

The Gannett Captain West, and the Mohawk, Captain 
Lambert, were sent at once and embarked the wretched sufferers. 
The women frantically threw themselves into the surf in their 
anxiety to get on board, some holding their infants high above 
their heads. Several had sabre cuts. Most of them had not 
tasted food for four days. But they were all brought safely to 
Beirut, and found lodgings where they could, in khans, vacant 
rooms and under the olive and mulberry trees. 

On Thursday evening, June 2ist, Kasim Beg Bu Nakad called 
about nine o'clock on Mr. Calhoun (see sketch of Mr. Calhoun's 
life in this volume) and Mr. Bird. After an ominous silence, he 
said to them, <<The Deir has fallen, not a man remains alive, 
excepting those in Mr. Bird's house. But they are in danger. 
It is hard to restrain the Hauran Druses. We have protected 
the house thus far, but cannot much longer. You will do well 
to go with us early to the Deir and bring away those thirty 

Very early in the morning they set out, a silent, sorrow-stricken 
pair. In three hours they reached the town. The air was thick 
with smoke from the burning houses. The streets were blocked 
with corpses. Old friends and pupils of Mr. Bird, and neighbours 
for long years, lay ghastly stiffened corpses along the streets, 
and Druse men and women were still at work stripping the 
corpses of the last shred of clothing. At the seraia was that 
awful hecatomb of hundreds of the dead, stripped, mutilated and 
indistinguishable. They hastened to Mr. Bird's house. A band 
of wild Hauran Druses had just brought a long roof timber and 
were using it as a battering-ram on Mr. Bird's door. The Abu 
Nakad begs drove them back and ordered them off. The 
terrified Syrian pastor within and his flock, hearing the familiar 

Digitized by 


Mr. Bird's Plucky Rescue 189 

voice of Mr. Bird, opened the door. The Druses now took Mr. 
Bird's furniture and books up to their khalweh or sacred room 
and kept it until he could send for it. The two heart-stricken 
and weary brethren then began their journey home to Abeih^ 
leading the procession of the rescued ones, whom Ali Beg 
Hamady years after told me he had guarded out of esteem for 
Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Bird. 

A few of the men of the leading families, the Meshakas, the 
Dumanis, and others were invited before the massacre to Mukh- 
tara by Said Beg out of motives of policy and were escorted 
safely to Sidon. On Saturday, June 23d, Mr. Calhoun alone 
escorted the Ain Zehalteh men to Beirut. All along the streets 
from the suburbs into the city they were taunted and threatened 
by the Moslems, and felt that they were hardly safer here than 
in Lebanon. Mr. Calhoun hastened back to Abeih and there he 
remained all through that summer of peril and anxiety. 

On the 5th of July, Mr. Bird and family sailed for the United 
States. His station was gone, his people killed or scattered. He 
and Mrs. Bird were quite prostrated from long watching and 
weariness by day and night and needed the rest of a complete 
change. Meantime we in Beirut had been through our season 
of terror by day and night. 

June 2 1st, Khurshid Pasha went to Deir el Komr and arrived 
after the awful massacre was over. What he said and what fol- 
lowed I cannot vouch for. Colonel Churchill gives details, which 
are shocking in the extreme, of his interviews with leading Druses, 
etc. But it is well known that the Druses and Moslems had 
agreed upon a day for the sack and massacre of Beirut. Two 
thousand armed Druses had entered the town and were secreted 
in the Moslem houses or were walking about the streets. The 
thousands of refugees constantly recognized Druses who had 
massacred their fathers, brothers or husbands ia Jezzin, Hasbeiya 
or Deir el Komr. The whole city was in a ferment. We after- 
wards learned that Sunday, the 24th, was the day fixed for the 
burning and massacre of Beirut. On the 22d, a Moslem was 
killed in the public square in Beirut. Immediately the shout 

Digitized by 


190 The Massacre Summer 

arose that a Christian had done it. All the shops were at once 
closed and deserted. An armed rabble paraded the streets sing- 
ing war-songS| and demanding the arrest and execution of the 
murderer before sunset, or they would rise on the Christians dur- 
ing the night and massacre them. Europeans were insulted. 
The French consul-general had a sword flourished in his face. 
An Englishman had a pistol snapped at him. A young Maro- 
nite was then seized, dragged along to the seraia, and after a hasty 
trial was condemned to death and was taken outside the gate and 
executed, although undoubtedly innocent The poor lad calmly 
and heroically said, " I am innocent. God knows I am inno- 
cent ; but if my death is necessary for the safety of my brethren^ 
I gladly give up my life." 

The mob was thus for the moment satisfied, but the night was 
a sleepless one. All the ships of war lowered their boats, filled 
with armed marines, ready to land on a signal from the shore. 
Every ship sloop and coasting craft in port was covered from 
stem to stern with crowds of trembling fugitives. 

But God in His providence interposed. The next morning, 
June 23d, there arrived from Constantinople a Protestant Hun- 
garian, General Kmety, whose Turkish title was Ismail Pasha, 
with 1,800 troops. He was a confrere of Louis Kossuth, the 
Hungarian patriotic leader, and on the crushing of the revolution 
of 1849, ^^d ^o Constantinople and entered the Turkish military 
service as Ismail Pasha. He had been sent on demand of the 
European ambassadors in Constantinople as the only officer they 
could trust, to restore order in Syria. His troops were instantly 
landed, and the general called together the European and Ameri- 
can consuls to ascertain the state of things. He then called to* 
gether his officers, and gave them directions to place guards at 
the European and American consulates, and detachnients all 
over the city. Then, drawing his revolver, he said to the offi- 
cers, " You are to keep the peace. If a Christian is injured or 
killed in any part of the city, I will shoot the officer in whose 
section the event occurs without a trial. Do you understand ? " 
Thus Beirut was saved. The Druses, who had been welcomed by 

Digitized by 


Beirut in Turmoil 191 

the Moslems, and who walked with braggart air through the 
bazaars receiving the congratulations of the Moslems, who decked 
their firearms with flowers, now slunk away and went back to the 
mountains. It was days before the city was quiet On the 23d, 
Messrs. Eddy and Ford arrived from Sidon on the English ships 
of war, bringing 1,000 women and children from Deir el Komr 
and Merj Aiyun. The European consuls met and sent a letter 
to the Druse chiefs warning them to stop the war and threaten- 
ing them in case they should invade Northern Lebanon. This 
alarmed the Druses, and evidently broke whatever alliance ex- 
isted between them and Khurshid Pasha. 

That afternoon, by advice of Dr. Barclay, I took Mrs. Jessup 
on board H. B. M. ship Extnouth, eighty guns, Captain Paynten 
The captain received us very courteously. Being aware of her 
delicate condition he refrained from firing salutes while we were 
on board. Several European families came on board for the 
night and a large number of wounded refugees were being kindly 
attended by the ship's surgeons. The better class of families in 
Beirut chartered sailing vessels and steamers and left for Athens, 
S}aa and Alexandria. Merchant steamers laden with goods 
were ordered to take their goods back to Malta. 

From the British official papers '< relating to the disturbances 
in Syria/' page 48, it is stated plainly that '' nothing could con- 
vince the Christian population of Beirut, but that the fate of their 
brethren at Deir el Komr, Hasbeiya and Rasheiya awaited them 
at the hands of the Turkish authorities and their troops." 
That night a comet appeared, which filled the superstitious com- 
mon people with apprehension of <' war, pestilence and famine." 

Sunday, June 24^1, Dr. Eddy and family came on board the 
Exmouth, and at 2 p. m. we returned to the shore, as the con- 
sul, having a guard of five soldiers from General Kmety,'felt sure 
that his house was secure, and invited us to his house. We then 
entered into negotiations with the captain of the American bark 
Speedwell to take us with Dr. Barday and family to Cyprus. 
Dr. Thomson was fruitful in expedients, and it was arranged that 
if the captain would consent, we would go the next day, and 

Digitized by 


192 The Massacre Summer 

hundreds of Syrians were ready to take passage at the same time. 
That night at the consul's we could hear firing in Lebanon, and 
every noise in the streets seemed the beginning of an outbreak. 
It was a troubled Sunday. The Arabic service was crowded with 
refugees who were sleeping under the Pride of India trees near 
the church door. But the English service was omitted. We 
were all living by the day, simply trusting, praying earnestly for 
divine guidance and sure of safety under the shadow of His 
wings. We felt comforted, however, by the manifest divine inter- 
position in sending a Protestant general just at this awful crisis, 
to hold Beirut with a grip of iron, and to save this city as a refuge 
for the homeless, houseless and hungry refugees from Lebanon 
and the interior. 

Monday, June 2Sth — This morning we removed from Consul 
Johnson's house back to Dr. Van Dyck's house. Then came a 
rumour, which proved to be false, that the Druses were coming, 
and for a time the whole town was in a panic, but General 
Kmety's prompt action quieted the Moslem populace and the 
panic subsided. 

Dr. Thomson's house was adjoining ours, and we went over to 
dine with him, as all our goods and utensils were packed, in an- 
ticipation of leaving town. At 3 p. m., word having come that the 
Speedwell would sail soon for Cyprus, we again sent for porters, 
and walked down, taking <' bag and baggage," to the port and 
went on board. It was a small clipper bark, loading with wool 
for Boston. The weather was intensely hot, with a strong west- 
erly wind, so that the sea was rough, and the crowds of refugees 
on the deck were suflering the agonies of seasickness. The 
sailors soon cleared a space large enough for us to spread our 
bed, and around it we piled our baggage. Dr. and Mrs. Barclay 
and his sister, Mrs. Consul Johnson, were our neighbours on the 
deck. We curtained off a space around our bed, and were just 
being rocked to sleep, when one of the deck passengers suffering 
from delirium tremens made night hideous with his shrieks of 
terror. All along the shore, near the custom-house, lay the boats 
from the English, French and Russian ships of war with marines 

Digitized by- 


A New Arrival I93 

ready to land at a moment's warning by signal of a cannon dis- 
charge from General Kmety's artillery. But the troubled nighty 
June 25th» wore away and the bright sun cheered us all. The 
captain now announced that he could not fix a day for sailing to 
Cyprus. We then tried to induce one of the Liverpool screw 
steamers in port to go to Cyprus, but in vain, and in the after- 
noon, on the urgent request of Dr. Barclay, our physician, with 
the aid of Mr. Ford, we again removed for the sixth time in four 
days, and went ashore at sunset, bag and baggage. The " bag " 
we were allowed to take, but as the custom-house officials had all 
left, the watchman would not allow anything else to pass. So we 
walked up to the house to an empty room, well-nigh exhausted. 
Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Black, daughter of Dr. Thomson, and others 
promptly provided bed and bedding and all things needful. At 
three o'clock the next morning, my wife gave birth to a daughter. 
Never were friends more kind and attentive and thoughtful. Our 
hearts were filled with thanksgiving to God and gratitude to these 
" friends indeed." The good Syrian woman, Im Shaheen, brought 
by Mrs. Black to help us, was a devout Maronite. Shortly after 
the advent of the dear child, she came to me, as I stood on the 
flat roof outside our door, to congratulate me, when she suddenly 
exclaimed, " Rah el Kurseh," pointing to Beit Mirri on Lebanon, 
where stood the country palace of the Maronite Archbishop 
Tobiya of Beirut. " The palace is gone I " I looked and saw 
the bright flames of the burning palace of the man, who, next to 
the patriarch, had done more than any other Maronite to precip- 
itate this awful civil war. The next few days were crowded with 
interest. Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Bird were busy, with an escort of 
Druses, in bringing from Deir el Komr to Abeih all Mr. Bird's 
property. The American kavass brought down from Abeih 
forty people and seven students of the seminary. The mission 
voted to suspend the seminaries, and Mr. Bliss took six of the 
schoolgirls back to Lebanon to villages not likely to be molested. 
Mr. Calhoun, always placid in his strong faith in God, wrote down 
from Abeih, *< I am weary." No wonder, after going day after 
day to that charnel house of putrefying corpses^ which so recently 

Digitized by 


194 I'hc Massacre Summer 

had been the prosperous capital of Lebanon. On the 28th, we 
were surprised to receive Mr. Eddy's horse from Sidon, sent on 
by Kasim Beg el Yusef, who was called by the people" Azraeel/' 
or the " Angel of Death." On the 28th, Sitt Naaify, of Hasbeiya, 
sent out seventy Christians, whom she was supposed to be pro- 
tectingf to reap in her fields, and they were all cut off by the 
Druses. That day began the great Moslem feast of Sacrifice, or 
" Aieed ul Adha," which lasted four days. There was little sym- 
pathy among the Christians for the Moslems in their rejoicings, 
and in some parts of the land, Christians instead of sheep were 
being offered as sacrifices. On the 30th, the Speedwell sailed for 
Boston. By it we sent the case of Arabic maps to the Appletons. 
On Sunday, July ist, no church bells were rung in Beirut I 
preached in English, and Mr. Araman and Dr. Wortabet in 
Arabic. We appointed daily meetings in the little church, and 
recommended Friday for observance as a day of fasting and prayer. 

Mr. Cyril Graham, an English traveller, now visited Deir el 
Komr and its horrors, and then went to Said Beg Jumblatt, leader 
of the Druses, to present the consular letter calling on him to 
stop the war. This great " Friend of the English " assured Mr. 
Graham that he knew nothing of recent events and had no in- 
fluence whatever with, the Druses. Bushir Beg Abu Nakad, who 
had boasted that *' he would lay the foundations of his house with 
Christian skulls," now insisted that he was quite innocent and ig- 
norant of what had been going on. Mr. Graham returned to 
Beirut, thwarted at every step, but the consular letter did stop the 
massacres in Lebanon. At length the Maronite leaders signed 
a paper forced on them by Khurshid Pasha, making peace on 
condition that the past be forgotten, no plunder restored, and 
no indemnification given. This satisfied the Druses, enriched 
with the spoils of the murdered Christians, and there was peace 
in Lebanon. 

July 2d, we formed an Anglo-American relief committee, 
headed by Consul. General Moore and the American Consul J. A. 
Johnson, and later on, by the German Consul-General Weber, 
with English and American residents. We sent off urgent ap- 

Digitized by 


Relief Work Organized 195 

peals to Europe and America for help for these thousands of 
refugees. The British naval commanders in port seconded our 
appeals, and from that time on until November the best of our 
time and strength, from sunrise to sunset, was devoted to relief 
work. We had carefully prepared lists of the refugees from hun- 
dreds of villages, until we had 16,000 names of persons receiving 
aid. In August and September money came pouring in from all 
over the civilized world, even from India and Australia, so that 
we handled over |l 150,000, the accounts being strictly kept by 
Mr. James Black, the eminent English merchant, and the Imperial 
Ottoman Bank. I used to begin at sunrise and work till sunset 
for months, in that stifling heat, my whole body covered with 
blotches of prickly heat. Our Syrian teachers were working with 
us as clerks and assistants, sifting out the lists, and ferreting out 
impostors, and helping in the religious services. Work in the 
printing house was suspended and some of the rooms used for 
relief work. The ladies, headed by Miss Emilia Thomson and 
Mrs. Consul Johnson, directed a large corps of S]a'ian Protestant 
women, many of them recently widowed, in cutting out, and bind- 
ing in bundles, cotton cloth and prints, with needles and thready 
for 100,000 garments. 

On Saturday, July 7th, Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Frazier, Dr. Hatty 
and Rev. Jules Ferette of the United Presbyterian Mission in 
Damascus, reached Beirut after a journey of terror and narrow 
escapes. They reported the condition of things in Damascus as 
most alarming. Christians were reviled, insulted and threatened^ 
and all the men were forced to wear black turbans. That same 
Turkish regiment, which a month before had presided over the 
massacre in Hasbeiya, was now ordered into the Christian quarter 
of Damascus to " protect " the Christians. These unarmed and 
defenseless people now tried to propitiate their protectors. They 
bribed and feasted them and raised hundreds of pounds for this 

The European consuls appealed in vain to Ahmed Pasha. 
Even the British consul refused to believe the urgent representa- 
tions of Rev. S. Robson that a massacre was imminent, and 

Digitized by 


196 The Massacre Summer 

would not believe it, until forced by his kavasses to go on the 
roof and see the ascending flames of the Christian quarter. At 
length, on the 9th of July, three Moslem lads were arrested for 
trampling on crosses in the street and insulting Christians. They 
were sent, accompanied by police, through the bazaars to sweep 
the Christian quarter. This insult was the signal for the Moslems 
to rise. Two men started shouting, " Deen, Deen, Deen Mo- 
hammed *' (religioUi religion, the religion of Mohammed). This 
was enough. At once an infuriated mob of the lower classes 
with guns, swords, battle-axes and pistols rushed to the Christian 
quarter, shouting, "Kill them, butcher them, plunder, burn, 
leave not one aUve, fear nothing, the soldiers will not touch us." 
Then began the work of plundering and burning. The supply 
of water was cut off. By sunset the whole Christian quarter was 
in a blaze. The first day the chief thought was plunder, and all 
the rich spoil of the Christian houses was carried off, gold, silver, 
copper, money, jewelry, rugs, silks and Damascus wares. The 
people tried to escape but were driven back by the Turkish 
soldiers. Then began the work of butchery. The Christians 
were cut down in the houses and in the streets. The priests 
were tortured in their churches and then beheaded. Nothing 
seemed able to prevent the extermination of the entire Christian 

But God had prepared a deliverer. In 1848, the Emir Abd el 
Kadir, prince of Algiers, after resisting the armies of France for 
fifteen years, surrendered to the French General Lamoriciere, 
and took a solemn oath of loyalty to France. That engagement 
contains the following language : " Grace to God only. I give 
my sacred word that does not admit of any doubt. I declare I 
will not again excite my people against the French either by 
person or by letters, or by any other method. I take my oath 
before Mohammed, Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ, by the 
Tourat (Old Testament), the Ingeel (New Testament), and the 
Koran, by the book of Bokhari and that of the ' Moslem.' I 
take this oath solemnly from my heart and tongue. This oath is 
binding both on me and my friends, who sign not this present 

Digitized by 


Abd el Kadir 197 

paper with me, because they do not know how to write. Com- 
pliments of Abd ei Kadir, son of Moohyeh-ed-din." 

He was then retired in 1852 by Louis Napoleon in honourable 
exile to Damascus, the city of his choice, with a princely pension. 
He was accompanied by one hundred of his faithful Algerine 
body-guards, and purchased a spacious house in Damascus, 
which had been for ten years a model of hospitality, open to all. 
He was visited by European notables, French nobility, English 
lords, American tourists, Protestant and Catholic missionaries, 
and Mohammedan pilgrims from Asia and Africa. No visit to 
Damascus was complete without a call on this noble Moghrabi 
emir. He was the noblest type of an Oriental, devout in his re- 
ligious belief in one God, constant in prayer, a lover of the poor, 
bounteous in his benefactions to them, broad and liberal in his 
views. Dr. Meshaka, the Protestant doctor. United States vice- 
consul, and author, was one of his intimate friends. He declared 
all men to be his brothers. 

Colonel Churchill, who wrote his memoir after his death in 
1883, says of him, " His brightest laurels were his reverses. He 
had accepted his destiny with cheerfulness and resignation, and 
joyfully contemplated his career as finished. But Providence 
had reserved for his brows another and a nobler wreath, a work 
of mercy; and, heaven- directed, he arose this day to do the deed 
that was to shed fresh lustre on his name." 

When the attack began, he was in the suburbs of the city far 
away from the Christian quarter. No sooner did he hear of it, 
than he sent out his faithful Algerines into the Christian quarter 
with orders to rescue all the wretched sufferers they could meet. 
Hundreds were safely escorted to his house before dark. Many 
rushed to the British consulate. Rev. Mr. Graham, Irish Presby- 
terian missionary, was cut down with a hatchet in the street. 
Rev. Mr. Robson, dressed as a woman, escaped to the house of a 
friendly Moslem efTendi. Dr. Meshaka fled through the streets, 
until he was rescued by a Moslem friend, just after he had 
received a cut in the head from a hatchet. But he lived to be a 
swift witness against the instigators of this dreadful carnage. On 

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198 The Massacre Summer 

the 23d of August Dr. Meshaka sent to Beirut the following account 
of his experience during the outbreak (translated from the Arabic) : 
" On Monday morning, the 9th of July, the city was quiet and 
his highness the Emir Abd el Kadir had left for the village of 
Ashrafiyeh on business (about twelve miles up the river Barada). 
At 2 p. M. excitement was caused by the government having 
put some Moslems, in chains for having made that morning 
crosses in the streets and obliged the Christians to trample over 
them. I was then alone in my house. My kavasses had gone 
to the seraia on business. But the Kavass Haj Ali returned 
immediately. It was then that the insurrection reached our 
quarter and I could not go out alone. I sent my kavass at 
once to the Emir Abd el Kadir, to beg his highness to send me 
some of his Algerines for my protection. He had then returned 
from the village and sent me four, but being without arms, they 
could not reach me. But my kavasses came boldly to me alone. 
I then locked the doors of my house. I had only time to put 
some money in my pocket, when the door was broken open and 
many ruffians rushed into the house, the most of them irregular 
Turkish troops. They began firing frequently but I escaped 
from them with my kavass and my two young children, Ibrahim 
and Selma, by going out of a door at the back of the house. 
Their attention was diverted from me by plundering the house. 
I then resolved to hide myself in one of the neighbouring 
Moslem houses, until I could escape safely to the house of the 
Emir Abd el Kadir. But none of them would receive me. I 
then directed my steps to the house of his highness, and a party 
of the rabble met me and fired at me. I threw them some gold 
coins to turn their attention from me, and returned to the street 
of Bab Tooma where soldiers were stationed. Here I met 
^mother party of plunderers. I threw them money as before. 
Then I met many armed persons and knew eight of them. I 
afterwards gave their names to the local government Six were 
caught, and two of them were hanged on the 20th inst. Some 
of diem attacked me with firearms, some with axes and dubs 
and one with a sword. 

Digitized by 


Meshaka's Story 199 

** My two children were behind me, crying to the men, « Kill us 
and leave our father I We cannot live without him/ One of 
these ruffians came and struck my daughter SeUna with an axe 
and wounded her. I then threw them more money to divert 

'< Thanks be to God, all the shots missed me though one of them 
shot at me twice at two yards' distance. I was, however, wounded 
by axes and clubs. I received a severe wound in the head from 
an axe and had not my kavass weakened the force of the blow, 
it would have killed me. I was also struck by a large club on 
my eye and received several wounds on my right arm from a 
sword. After severe suflfering, by the aid of my kavass, who 
was constantly with me, I reached the house of Mustafa Beg 
Hawashe, appointed by the government to protect the quarter. 
When I saw the beg I asked him to receive me into his house. 
He refused and sent me to the house of Paris el Keif, a notorious 
ruffian in the same street. I saw from the windows the mob 
breaking into Christian houses and massacring the inmates. The 
beg's people were plundering and some of the plunder was 
brought to the house where I was. This made me feel unsafe, 
and I planned to escape after dark to Mustafa Beg's, who would 
not dare to kill me in his own house. Just then a body of armed 
men knocked at the door and came in. They were Abd el 
Kadir's men with my friend Said Mohammed es Sautery. He 
had been searching for me and finding my house plundered and 
empty, traced me to Mustafa's house. He then obtained eight 
Algerines from Abd el Kadir and demanded me of Mustafa who, 
alarmed, sent his nephew to guide them to me. I was taken at 
once to the Emir Abd el Kadir's, where I was received very 
kindly, but as I was covered with blood and the house was 
crowded with Christians, the emir allowed Said Modammed es 
Sautery to take me into his own house. The Said then went to 
look for the members of my family and was searching until the 
morning. He found all but my son Selim, who, after being 
given up as dead for three days, was found in the house of the 
daughter of Ali Agha Katilee in the Shaghiir quarter. 

Digitized by 


200 The Massacre Summer 

" I remained a month in the house of Saifd Mohammed es 
Sautery and was very kindly treated. As we were only half 
clothed and had only two or three piastres in money, Sheikh 
Selim Effendi el Attar sent me clothes and money. He shel- 
tered, in his house, more than one hundred Christians, providing 
them all necessaries. 

" As for me, I was on the morning of the 9th a rich man, and 
on the loth a poor man, but I ought to be thankful to God for 
saving my life and that of my family. There was a sufficient 
reason for the distrust which I felt in the house in which they 
first put me, because, since the arrival of H. E. Fuad Pasha, it 
has been proved that Mustafa Beg, his nephews and his people, 
by different devices, murdered hundreds of Christians, one of 
whom was Rev. Mr. Graham, Irish missionary. The Almighty 
saved me from their brutality. The beg, his two nephews and 
some of his people were hanged on the 20th inst." The wound 
by an axe affected Dr. Meshaka's sense of smell in a peculiar 
way. Meat and certain vegetables had such a nauseous odour 
that he could only bear it by closing his nostrils. This continued 
for many months and he could not allow the odour of cooking 
meat in the house. The medical profession were much interested 
in his case. 

Fresh hordes of Kurds, Arabs, Druses, with the Moslem popu- 
lace and soldiers now began the dreadful work of massacre. All 
that night and the next day the pitiless work went on. But 
Abd el Kadir and his men stood between the living and the 
dead, and, forming the Christians into detached parties, forwarded 
them under successive guards, first to his own house and then to 
the great castle, where he reassured them, consoled them, fed 
them. " There, as the terrific day closed in, nearly 12,000 of all 
ages and sexes were collected, and huddled together, a fortunate, 
but exhausted residue, fruits of his untiring exertions. There 
they remained for weeks, lying on the bare ground without 
covering, exposed to the sun's scorching rays, their rations cu- 
cumbers and coarse bread." 

Abd el Kadir himself was now menaced. His house was full 

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Abd cl Kadir's Bravery 201 

of hundreds of fugitives, European consuls and native Christians. 
Hearing that the mob was coming, '' the hero coolly ordered his 
horse to be saddled, put on his cuirass and helmet, and mount- 
ing, drew his sword. His faithful followers formed around him, 
brave remnant of his old guard, comrades in many a well-fought 
field, victors at the river Mootaia, when with 2,500 horse and foot 
he defeated the army of the Emperor of Morocco 60,000 strong. 

'' The fanatics came in sight. Singly he charged into the midst 
and drew up. ' Wretches,' he exclaimed, ' is this the way you 
honour your prophet ? May his curses be upon you I Shame 
upon you, shame ! You will yet live to repent. You think you 
may do as you please with the Christians : but the day of ret- 
ribution will come. The Franks will yet turn your mosques 
into churches. Not a Christian will I give up. They are my 
brothers. Stand back or I will give my men orders to fire.' 
The crowd dispersed. Not a man of that Moslem throng dared 
raise his voice or lift his arm against the renowned champion of 

All honour to that noble man I His work of mercy and 
humanity became known all over the civilized world, and all 
the rulers of Europe sent him letters and tokens of acknowledg- 

On the 15th of September I saw at the United States consulate 
in Beirut a beautiful pair of gold-mounted revolvers properly 
inscribed as a. present from the President of the United States to 
Abd el Kadir, and I afterwards saw them at his house in 
Damascus. Both Abd el Kadir and Schamyl, the Circassian Mo- 
hammedan prince who was obliged to surrender to Russia, wrote 
eloquent protests against the massacre, as contrary to Islam and 
the Koran, and these were widely distributed. 

In 1883 the great emir passed away, aged seventy-five. Sixty 
thousand persons, it is said, followed him to his grave, and among 
the vast throng there were many bowed with " grateful grief," 
at the remembrance of how gallantly he had stood by the flying 
Christians when the gutters of Damascus ran with the blood of 
their kith and kin. 

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202 The Massacre Summer 

From Schamyl, the Circassian^ to the Emir Abd el Kadir : 

To him who is famous among all, renowned for his exalted 
benevolence above all mankind, who extinguished the fires of insurrec- 
tion when they were at their height, and uprooted the tree of enmitj, 
whose proportions had become like Satan himself 1 Moreover, praise to 
him who grants to his servant piety and faith, that is, to the beloved 
Abd el ICadir the Just Peace be unto you, and may the palm tree of 
glory and excellence continue fruitful in your life. 

After this, we state, after there had smitten my ears that which 
paralyzes the hearing and from which human nature revolts, with re- 
gard to what happened in Damascus between the Moslems and those 
under their covenanted protection (zimmeh) the Christians, events 
which ought not to happen among the people of Islam which tend 
to the spread of corruption among men ; my hair stood on end and my 
face grew dark with melancholy, and I said, How has corruption ap- 
peared on sea and land, in the horrors men's hands have wrought ! 
And I wonder how any among the rulers could be so blind as to enact 
such a mighty iniquity in the face of what the Prophet of God (prayer 
and peace from God be upon him !) has said. ** Whoever oppresses 
one under covenant, or lessens his rights or taxes him beyond his 
ability or takes from him aught by force, of such am I the accuser in 
the resurrection day." This is a just and true remark. When then 
I heard that you had spread the wings of compassion and mercy to 
them, and checked those who passed the bounds set by God most 
Exalted, and that you had run a good course in the highway of praise, 
and had deserved all thanks, I was pleased with you, and God the 
Exalted will show you His approbation in that day when neither wealth 
nor sons will remain with you. For you have loved the word of the 
great prophet whom God the Exalted sent as a mercy to the ages, 
and you have held in check those who violated his law and majesty. 
(God forbid that any should transgress his laws !) 

'' My object in writing this is to show you how well pleased I am 
with you, and may my episde be to you as a refreshing draught of cold 

From the poor Schamyl the stranger . 

Reply of Abd el Kadir to Schamyl: 

Praise to God, Lord of the ages. Prayer and peace from 

Digitized by 


1. Amir Abd el Kadir. 2. Sir William Muir. 3. Butrus Bistany. 
4. Dr. Meshaka. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Prince Schamyl 203 

God upon our lord Mohammed' and upon all his brethren the prophets 
and apostles 1 

From the poor one to his master the rich, from Abd el Kadir the 
son of Moohyeh-ed-din-el Hasneh, to the brother in God and the be- 
loved for God's sake, the Imam Schamyl I God has been our portion at 
home and abroad. The peace and mercy of God be upon you I . . . 
After this we say that your most precious letter has reached us; your 
discourse was a joy and a delight to us. What you have heard and 
been pleased with in regard to our protection of the people of the 
** zimmeh " and the covenant (Christians), and our defense of their 
lives and their virtue, was, as is well known to your precious intelli- 
gence, necessitated by the commands of the law most holy and exalted, 
as well as by humanity and self-respect. For our law fulfills the 
rules of a generous nature and requires the doing of all those praise- 
worthy actions which lead to friendship by a bond closer than that 
of a golden collar upon the neck. In every sect violence is abhorred. 
Its practice is vile ; yet man, often in the hour of temptation, sees that 
to be good which is not good. 1 

By the name of Him whose we are and to whom we return, I dep- 
recate the lapse of the followers of religion and the want of faith in 
the Victorious One, in Truth and its Defender. Unlearned men have 
begun to think that the root of the faith of Islam is stupidity, brutality, 
harshness and violence. It is well to be patient and God will bring 
deliverance. There is no object of worship but God. 

These letters are interesting from the remarkable history of 
their authors and. as indicating the current and shape of the 
opinion of the more enlightened Mohammedans in the East in 
these days. 

One of the proposed solutions of the future of Syria was 
the appointment of Abd el Kadir as viceroy over all Syria. But 
it is well that he was not. In an interview with an Englishman 
familiar with the Arabic, he stated that if made viceroy, he 
would govern justly, but that he would not allow Christians to 
enter the army, nor to testify against Moslems, << as Christians 
can never be on an equality with Moslems," as the Mohammedan 
** Shera " (the religious law of the Koran) is paramount to all 
other laws, and must be obeyed above all. He would regard 

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204 The Massacre Summer 

Christians as '* zimmeh " or under covenant, and entitled 
to entire protection as long as they pay tribute. This view of 
Abd el Kadir, the finest specimen of Mohammedan manhood in 
modern times, shows how impossible it is for a Moslem sov- 
ereign to grant equal rights to Christian subjects. Where the 
people are all Moslems, a Moslem ruler does well But in a 
mixed population, a Moslem ruler cannot grant equal rights to 
non-Moslems and must exclude them from miUtary service and 
from the high God-given right of testifying in a court of justice. 

Seven thousand Christians had been killed or burned alive in 
their houses, i,ooo of them in the Franciscan convent. A sur- 
vivor, who was a boy at the time, told me that he was in the Greek 
Church when the mob broke in and that they took thirty priests 
one by one and cutting off their ears, noses and hands would 
call on them to deny Christ and then behead them amid fiendish 
jeers. This young man said that although thirty years had 
passed, he would often awake at night screaming with terror at 
the memory of that horrible scene. Young girls and women 
were carried off to Moslem hareems and forcibly married to 

The news of this massacre spread terror all over the land, and 
Jerusalem, Jaffa, Acre, Tyre and even Aleppo were in great 
danger. One Russian steamer took i,ooo refugees to Alexandria. 

July 17th Fuad Pasha, the grand vizier of the Sultan, arrived 
with three frigates and additional troops. He was clothed with 
absolute authority over the military and civil officials and ordered 
to punish the guilty at once. The next day there was an eclipse, 
which added to the terror of the ignorant populace. On the 
19th, we printed the Sultan Abdul Majid's new firman, and it 
was publicly read before Moslems and Christians, but no one 
responded, " Long live the Sultan," the usual reply at such a time. 
On the 20th Fuad Pasha was visited by a black-veiled procession 
;• of 3,000 widows and orphans and seemed to be much affected. 
He promised to provide for them and to punish the murderers. 

Abro Effendi, secretary to the pasha, formed mixed commis- 
sions to examipe the claims for indemnities for all foreigners. 

Digitized by 


Damage Claims Adjusted 205 

The daims of the natives were to be settled by the government 
itself. The American and English Commission consisted of 
Abro Eflfendif Mr. James Black, Dr. Thomson, Mr. M. Beihum 
and myself. We had to examine claims for damages to 
American property in Damascus, Hasbeiya, Deir el Komr, 
Sidon and other places, amounting in all to about |lio,ooo. The 
purely American claims, as to the correctness of which we could 
give our word of honour, were allowed to the last piastre. But 
we learned that the majority of the lists handed in by the sufTer- 
ing natives were cut down one-half and often three-fourths, and 
then paid in orders on the government, which were bought up by 
brokers and bankers at less than half their value, so the real 
suflferers never got a fourth of what they lost. 

The British flag-ship Marlborough (131 guns, Admiral Martin) 
arrived on the 24th of July, and soon after there was a fleet of 
twenty-five British ships of war, and nearly twenty French, 
Austrian, Dutch, Italian, Greek and Turkish ships. Then came 
news of the. coming of a French army of 10,000 men, and in 
case of need of as many more of other nations. Mustafa Pasha 
declared that he would resist their landing, and the Moslem 
populace became much excited. But soon orders arrived from 
Constantinople that the troops were coming at the request of the 
Sultan, and to aid him in restoring order. 

Khurshid Pasha, who had been sent by Fuad Pasha to Latakia 
on some trivial errand, returned on the 26th, expecting to resume 
his office at the seraia. But before his arrival, Admiral Martin 
addressed an emphatic protest to Fuad Pasha, demanding that he 
be punished. He said, ** The Turkish government will have no 
claims to consideration if it should not do voluntary and ample 
justice. The matter will probably be taken out of their hands, 
if they exhibit any indication of shortcoming." He also de- 
manded '< conspicuous retribution to infamous functionaries.** 
So on the arrival of Khurshid he was arrested at the landing, his 
sword taken from him and he sent as a prisoner to the barracks. 

The missionaries, Thomson, Bliss and m}^elf, called on Admiral 
Martin, and on the other officers of the fleet The sight of that 

Digitized by 


2o6 The Massacre Summer 

display of two and three deckers, all full-rigged ships, lying in a 
line a mile long off the port, was one never to be forgotten. On 
shore we had our hands full, and the distribution of money and 
clothing to the wretched refugees kept us constantly busy. 

There was great excitement among the Lebanon Druses when 
they heard of the coming of a French army, and some of their 
leaders proposed to burn the remaining Christian villages in 
Southern Lebanon, massacre the remnant of the people and then 
flee to Hauran. But in the providence of God this plan was 
thwarted. Mr. Calhoun said that was the only time when he was 
really in danger, as the begs, his friends, would have been unable 
to stem the tide had such a course been adopted by the leading 

Colonel Frazier now arrived, August ist, as British commis- 
sioner to cooperate with Admiral Martin, and it appeared that 
the time of retribution had come. On the 29th of July Fuad 
Pasha reached Damascus with 2,000 troops, and arrested all the 
leading officers, civil and military, and hundreds of the prominent 
Moslem sheikhs and eflendis, and put them in prison. He began 
at once a rigid investigation. We cannot enter into all the 
details of the punishment he visited on that guilty city. General 
Ahmed Pasha, the governor and military commander of Damas- 
cus, who was proved by Mohammedan evidence to have caused 
the massacre, was shot, and with him Osman Beg and two other 
officers who presided at the Hasbeiya massacre. One hundred 
and seventeen others, officers, police and Bashi-bazouks, were also 
shot. Four hundred Moslems were condemned to imprisonment 
and exile. Fifty-six of the leading eflendis and sheikhs of the 
city were hanged. Eleven of the notables were exiled to Cyprus 
and Rhodes, which was a very light sentence. 

A levy of one million dollars was made on the city, which was 
not a tenth of the loss suffered by the Christians. He then com- 
pelled the Moslems to vacate three districts of the city and put 
Christians into their houses, and made a prominent Moslem house 
into a temporary Greek church. In the course of the few 
months following he compelled the Moslems of the city and the 

Digitized by 


Damascus Pays the Piper 207 

neighbouring villages to carry away the debris and ashes of the 
Christian quarter, outside of the city, and to cut down poplar 
and walnut trees for rebuilding the Christian quarter. They 
were also obliged to furnish flour to the Christians left in 
the city. A raid was also made on all the Moslem houses, and 
beds, rugs, clothing and copper utensib were recovered and 
given to the sorrowing Christians. In the course of a month 
eleven thousand of the Christians were transported to Beirut and 
lodged in the quarantine buildings, and in khans and houses 
rented for the purpose by tlie government. We used to stand 
on the Damascus Road to see these long processions of men, 
women and children passing mournfully along, on horses, mules, 
donkeys and cameb, a melancholy sight. Among those in the 
quarantine buildings were 600 children. Within a month 100 of 
them had died from exposure and improper and insufficient 
food. All these 11,000 names were added to our relief lists, and 
garments were given to every man, woman and child. 

Not the least crushing blow, however, to the pride of Moslem 
Damascus, was the immediate enforcement of the military con* 
scription. From the days of Mohammed until i860, Damascus, 
as one of the four holy cities (Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem 
being the other three), had been exempted from the conscription, 
and no Damascene Moslem ever entered the army. But now 
Fuad Pasha seized the opportunity to humble the proud city. 
Within three months 21,000 men were sent handcuffed to Beirut 
and thence by ship to Arabia, Asia Minor and European 
Turkey. Some hundreds were culprits more or less directly im- 
plicated in the massacre, and the rest were thrust into the army, 
and ever since, the conscription has been enforced. A large 
stone barracks was erected at the entrance of the Christian 
quarter to prevent any recurrence of a Moslem invasion.^ 

^ In December the following urgent orders were sent to Damascus, to 
be enforced by the army : 

Section i appoints a committee of four Christians, three Moham- 
medans, and a secretary and president elected by Fuad Pasha. The 
members of the committee must be from the higher classes of the com- 

Digitized by 


2o8 The Massacre Summer 

The spectacle of the arrival in Beirut, week after week, of 
bodies of one hundred, two hundred or five hundred Damascus 
Moslems, some of them sons of the highest families, all with 
their wrists fastened in wooden stocks, nailed fast, was an object- 
lesson to the whole country and especially to Beirut. And dur- 
ing all these subsequent years the memory of the punishment 
visited on that city has kept the Christians in safety. The 
French army of occupation began to arrive August i6th, and in 
a few weeks entered Lebanon. A Turkish army also entered 
Lebanon from Sidon by way of Hermon, to cut off the re- 
treat of the Druses. But a gap was left in the cordon, and 2,000 

Section a requires one thousand Mohammedan men with two hundred 
mules, to be collected from Damascus itself and all of the villages 
within a distance of three hours or nine miles in every direction, for 
the purpose of cleansing the ruined quarter and preparing it for build- 

Section 3 requires that all tools and implements needed in this work, 
such as shovels, pickaxes, baskets and ropes, together with the pro- 
visions of the labourers, shall be furnished by the city and the above 
mentioned villages. 

Section 4 orders the storing away in proper magazines of all the 
beams, timbers and hewn stones found among the ruined houses. 

Section 5 requires that all the labourers and animals must be on hand 
ready to work within three days of the date of the proclamation. 

Section 6 requires the immediate repair of all the water-pipes and 
canals leading to the Christian quarter, and inasmuch as the most of 
those skilled in the construction of the watercourses are Christians, that 
class may be employed, and their wages must be paid by the Moham- 
medan citizens. 

Section 7. An overseer shall be appointed in every district of the 
Christian quarter with two guards, to attend to the collection and prep- 
aration of the building materials which have escaped destruction. 

Section 8. One hundred and fifty howr trees (this tree is a white- 
barked poplar which grows tall and straight and is much used for roof- 
ing houses) are to be cut down from the gardens of Damascus, and 
from the villages in every direction around for a distance of fifteen 
miles, according to the number of trees found in each place. 

Sections 9 to 14 provide for the proper registration of all the trees 
cut down, the giving of receipts to the sheikhs of the villages for them, 
and the marking the trees with the stamp of the '< commission " to pre- 
vent their being removed and others substituted in their room before 
they are taken into the city for use. 

Digitized by 


The European Commission 209 

Druses escaped to Hauran to the utter chagrin of the French 
General Beaufort d'Hautpol who found himself thwarted by 
Turkish treachery. 

On September 8th, Lord DufTerin arrived, and the European 
commission was organized to investigate the massacres and plan 
for a new government for Lebanon. The members of the com- 
mission were as follows: Fuad Pasha, for Turkey; Lord 
Dufferin-and-Claneboye, for England; M. Beclard, for France; 
M. Novikoff, for Russia; M. Weckbecker, for Austria; M. De 
Rehfuss, for Prussia. 

Its labours extended over five months, its last and twenty- 
fifth meeting taking place March 5, 1861, the day of the in- 
auguration of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. 

Owing to diflferences of opinion among the members as to 
who should be punished, the French advocating the execution of 
a few leaders, and the English the hanging of the actual rank and 
file perpetrators of the massacres, and owing also to the fact, 
stated by the biographer of Lord DufTerin (p. 42), that " unfor- 
tunately British policy was then strongly pro-Turkish," and 
"M. Thouvenel (French minister), who acted with energy 
throughout, had a good deal of difiiculty in persuading Lord 
John Russell to consent to the landing of an international force;" 
and owing also to the consummate ability of Fuad Pasha who 
succeeded in arousing the jealousies of the European Powers to 
thwart the ends of justice, — the result as a fact was that not a 
single Druse was executed. Many were tried and condemned. 
Several hundreds were temporarily exiled to Tunis and Belgrade, 
Cyprus and Crete. France and England were fearful of each 
other's influence in Syria. Lord Russell saw in the French oc- 
cupation a preparation for annexation and determined that it 
should cease. The international treaty fixed the term of the oc- 
cupation at six months, but, owing to the unsettled state of the 
country, and the difficulty of embarking an army from a har- 
bourless coast in midwinter, it was prolonged four months and 
the last French soldier sailed June 8, 1861. It had thus lasted 
from August 16, i860, nearly ten months. During the last 

Digitized by 


210 The Massacre Summer 

four months, the Emperor Napoleon III proposed a still longer 
occupation, and for a few weeks, as we learned from Colonel 
Frazier, who remained after Lord Dufferin departed in May, 
1861, there was imminent danger of war between France and 
England, which would have been ruinous to Syria. We were 
distinctly informed by official authority, *' that if France did not 
evacuate Syria by the 5th of June, England would drive her out 
by force of arms. Already io,ocx> troops were in readiness in 
Malta and Gibraltar, and," said our informant, ** if necessary, 
England will land troops at Acre and Tripoli on the Syrian 
coast and arm the whole non-Christian population of Druses, 
Moslems and Arabs, and expel the French, no matter what hap- 
pens to the Christians." It was a very serious crisis. Very few 
knew what was transpiring between London and Paris. But the 
French departed on time, and the world was saved the spectacle 
of English officers leading an army of unhung Druse and 
Moslem murderers against the French army, which came in the 
interest of our common humanity to put a stop to the awful 
Syrian massacres. 

The joint commission completed its labours March 5, i86i. 
" It laboured faithfully to reorganize the country ; it endeavoured 
to restore the scattered Christians to their homes ; to rebuild their 
ruined tenements ; to fix the amount of their pecuniary indemni- 
ties ; to supervise the criminal procedures against the inculpated 
Turkish authorities and the Druse malefactors; and lasdy, to 
frame such a plan of government for the Lebanon, as might bid 
fair to give the inhabitants that peace, order and security which 
they had been vainly invoking for twenty years." * 

The " Organic Statute " agreed upon, and finally approved by 
the Sultan, made Lebanon a distinct, independent pashalic, un- 
der a Mutserrif, or pasha, appointed by the Sultan and confirmed 
by the six signatory powers (now including England, France, 
Germany, Russia, Austria and Italy). He must be a Latin 
Catholic, and not a native of Syria, and cannot be removed but 
by consent of the European ambassadors in Constantinople. 
^Churchill, p. 258. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



1. H. E. Daiid Pasha. 2. Wassa, Pasha of Lebanon, 
of Lebanon. 4. Franco Pasha. 

3. Rustem, Pasha 

Digitized by 


The Lebanon Province 211 

Lord Dufferin, twenty-seven years later (1887), when Viceroy 
of India, was confronted with a somewhat analogous problem in 
the rising of the Ghilzais, an Afghan tribe, and in a letter to the 
British Minister of Foreign Affairs, suggested the substitution for 
the existing regime in Afghanistan of some such system as that 
established by him and his fellow commissioners in the Lebanon 
in 1 861.1 

He says, <' Every plan in Lebanon failed in turn, until we put 
each principal section of the people imder its own chief, assisted 
by divisional councils, with an intertribal (volunteer) police, im- 
der an independent governor, appointed by the Turks, though 
not himself a Mohammedan. Under this system the domestic 
independence both of the Druses and the Maronites remained 
perfectly free and uncontrolled. The Turkish troops garrisoned 
certain strategical points outside the privileged limits, but no 
Turkish soldiers were permitted to be quartered on the villagers^ 
or to enter within the liberties of the tribes. Within a couple of 
years after these arrangements had been carried into effect, blood 
feuds entirely ceased, and from that time until the present day 
the Lebanon has been the most peaceful, the most contented and 
the most prosperous province of the Ottoman Dominion." 

The three seaport cities, Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon, which front 
the middle, the northern and southern extremities of Lebanon, 
being ports of entry, and having a large Moslem population, were 
excluded from the Lebanon district and remained under direct 
Turkish rule. Thus, to ' this day, Lebanon has had no seaport 
and all traffic and passenger travel must be through ports in the 
hands of the Sultan's officials. 

Lebanon has had seven Christian pashas since 1861, Daud, 
Franco, Rustem, Wassa, Naoom, Muzaffiu", and Yusef, the present 
ruler. As Lord Dufferin says, " It is the most peaceful, contented 
and prosperous province of the Ottoman Dominion." It pays no 
taxes to Constantinople and its army is a volunteer army of 
Maronites, Greeks, Catholics, Protestants, Druses and a few 
Moslems. The people are industrious and easily governed. 
» "life of Lord Dufferm," p. 58. 

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212 The Massacre Summer 

Since i860 the value of property has increased a hundredfold. 
Vast regions have been brought under cultivation and planted to 
the mulberry, olive, fig and vine. The very architecture of the 
houses has improved wonderfully, and macadamized carriage 
roads zigzag through the mountain range in every direction. 

On New Year's Day, 1861, Syria was prostrated, humbled and 
sitting in sackcloth and ashes. Homeless widows and orphans, 
exiles, despairingly begged for the restoration of their property 
and the rebuilding of their homes. Schools were closed, church 
buildings in ruins and the people dead or dispersed. 

The foreign missionaries were mostly gathered in Beirut 
Dr. Crawford of Damascus had summered in the Moslem town 
of Yebrud, north of Damascus, and was unable to reach Damas- 
cus until the /th of August and soon after, with Rev. S. 
Robson, came to Beirut After frequent consultations, we de- 
cided to hold on to all our stations, and reoccupy them when 
the land became settled. But the prospect was dark enough. 
It seemed as though the work of forty years was swept away. 
On the 18th of September, i860, 1 wrote to my brother Samuel, 
then studying in preparation for the Syria Mission work, as fol- 

" I think the prospect brighter for our mission. The Druses 
are to be attacked at once, and the Christians restored to their 
homes as soon as possible. Tell George Post not to give up 
Syria. Dr. Van Dyck is overburdened, and must have some one 
to relieve him of the medical work, to give him time for the 
translation of the Old Testament Let nothing discourage you. 
I regret having written anything to put you in doubt, but when 
one expects every minute to be massacred (as we did in July) he 
cannot write very encouragingly. Now, we are all hopeful, and 
I doubt not we shall need you both and more besides, before 
December, 1861." 

Dr. Van Dyck had returned from Europe and at once resumed 
work on the translation of the Old Testament Mr. Ford re- 
turned to Sidon. We never doubted that God would bring good 
out of this appalling disaster. And He did. 

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Eflfcct of Civil War in the United States 213 

To add to the gloom of the year 1861, the Civil War began 
between the federal government in the United States and the 
Southern seceding slave states. Financial ruin seemed impend- 
ing over the Northern states. Churches and missionary societies 
were staggered and crippled. The Board of Missions sounded 
the note of warning and retrenchment. No boarding-schools 
could be reopened — no new books published — no new mission- 
aries sent out. In the spring of 1861, we were all assembled in 
Beirut at our annual meeting, when the mail brought the news 
of the firing on Fort Sumter. We were startled and thrilled, 
and as one man felt like starting for home to defend our beloved 
country's flag from dishonour. 

But it soon became evident that God had still a work for His 
servants to do in Syria. 

The total receipts of the Anglo-American and German Relief 
Committee, up to December 31st, were over ;6'20,ooo or ^100,000, 
of which one-fourth came from the United States. This sum 
was expended on bedding, clothing, medical relief and bread. 

Of this sum ^0,000 was given in wheat for seed, ^14,000 for 
clothing, ^5,000 for medical relief, ^3,000 for soup rations through 
the soup kitchen of the Prussian deaconesses, and the balance in 
food and clothing. Twenty-flve thousand dollars of this sum 
passed through my hands and was distributed in cash to the 
needy according to carefully prepared lists, and all the accounts 
were audited by a British merchant in Beirut. 

The number of refugees on all our lists in Beirut, Belad, Baal- 
bec, and Sidon reached 26,000. In addition it should be re- 
membered that large sums were raised in Catholic Europe which 
were distributed through the European consulates and the 
Romish orders. The Turkish authorities also furnished rent and 
a small pittance daily, especially to the refugees from Damascus, 
Deir el Komr and Hasbeiya. In December we had distributed 
1,000 shepherds' coats for elderly people. One steamer several 
weeks later brought from England 2,000 beds, 4,000 blankets, 
500 rugs and forty large boxes of clothing, most of it almost 
entirely new. 

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214 '^^ Massacre Summer 

Lord DufTerin in his report to the British Foreign Office, in 
speaking of the part borne by the American missionaries in 
this work of humanity and religion, awards to them unmeasured 
commendation, declaring that *' without their indefatigable exer- 
tions, the supplies sent from Christendom could never have been 
properly distributed, nor the starvation of thousands of the needy 
been prevented*' 

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Light After Darkness 

Eight results of the upheaval — ^Enormous development of BiUe circu- 
lation — ^The new impetus to educational work. 

''The wrath of man shall praise Thee: with the remainder of wrath 
wilt Thou gird Thyself."— A. f6 : lo. 

THE year i860 had thus been a crisis in the history of 
S)rria. It was also a crisis in the Protestant missionary 
work. From that time the tide turned. The plow- 
share of God's judgment had upturned the soil and overturned 
many of the mightiest obstacles to the Gospel Syria had been 
little known in Protestant England and Germany and little 
cared for. But great disasters, famines, pestilence and massacres 
draw forth human sympathy and make all men brothers. The 
events in Bulgaria in 1876, in Armenia in 1894, in China in 1900 
and the Indian famine in 1900, prove the power of Christian 
sympathy. After the massacres, Syria was filled with corre- 
spondents of the English, Scotch, Dutch, Swiss and American 
journals, who supplied their readers with facts concerning the 
appalling condition of the Oriental Christian sects in Syria. I 
was asked by Dr. George W. Wood of New York to act as " our 
own correspondent " for a new Christian daily journal just started 
in New York, The New York World, edited by Rev. Dr. 
Spalding. To this journal I wrote about thirty letters, giving 
minute day-to-day accounts of the massacres and the resultant 
suflferings of the survivors, and these letters probably had some- 
thing to do with the awakened interest in Syria. Then came 
messengers of mercy from America, England, Scotland, Germany 
and Switzerland, who opened' schools, orphanages and hospitals 
all over the land 


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2i6 Light After Darkness 

We can see several distinct results more or less direct from 
the events of i860. 

To understand these results in Syria, let us look at what had 
already been accomplished. The American Mission had es- 
tablished thirty-three schools with 967 pupils, 176 of them girls. 
There were four organized churches with seventy-five members. 
The press was printing about 4,000,000 pages annually, and had 
printed from the outset 1 12,825,780 pages. The New Testament 
had been translated, and two editions printed ; a i2mo reference 
edition and a pocket edition, and in i860, 4,293 copies were 
sold notwithstanding the poverty of the people. The country 
had been largely explored. Patriarchs and bishops had ceased 
to hurl anathemas at the *' accursed sect " of the Protestants. 
Education and the press had opened the eyes of multitudes. 
The Protestant sect had been legally sanctioned by imperial 
firman, and became entitled to official recognition and protec- 
tion. The American Mission in Syria had withdrawn, in 1843, 
from Jerusalem and all of Palestine south of Acre and Tiberias, 
and concentrated its efforts on Lebanon, the Bookaa and Northern 
Syria. A large number of prominent Syrians had embraced 
Protestantism, among them the martyr Asaad es Shidiak, Gregory 
Wortabet, Butrus Bistany and Dr. Meshaka of Damascus. The 
two latter are immortalized by their contributions to Arabic 
Christian literature. 

When the smoke had cleared away, after the close of the war 
of i860, and a reasonable estimate could be made of the actual 
losses of the Protestant community, it was found that only nine 
Protestants had been killed out of a community of several hun- 
dred. One missionary. Rev. Mr. Graham of the Irish Presbyterian 
Mission in Damascus was killed. The Hasbeiya church was 
partially destroyed. The scattering of villagers and people of 
the large towns like Zahleh, Hasbeiya and Deir el Komr, was a 
great disaster and set back all systematic work for months. 

But on the other hand the final outcome was a great gain to 
Syria, as will appear from the following eight results. 

I. The power of the old feudal families and tribes was forever 

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The ** Organic Statute** 217 

broken. These sheikhs, begs and emirs had enjoyed ahnost 
unlimited power. The fellahin^ or farmers were their serfs. A 
Druse beg or a Shehab Maronite emir could order twenty or fifty 
fellahs to leave their work without notice, and walk before him 
ten or twenty miles, without compensation. These feudal lords 
were gradually appropriating the landed estates, and shared with 
the monks the best property in Lebanon. 

But by the new <' Organic Statute," the official status of these 
titular families was forever abolished, and since that time they 
have had to take their chance with others in getting office. 
Their sons now go into business, or enter college to become 
lawyers, doctors or officials. As a fact, the kaimakam of the 
great Druse district of Es-Shoof in Southern Lebanon has been 
chosen alternately from one of the two great rival Druse houses 
of the Arslan emirs and the Jumblatt begs. In the other 
districts which are either Maronite, Greek or Papal Greek » the 
kaimakams are taken from the predominant sect. Each district 
has its medjlis or local council, and the pasha at the capital of 
the mountain has a central council and court of appeals. 

2. The political power of the native hierarchy was broken. 
The patriarchs and bishops, priests and monks, had interfered in 
the courts, set up and put down officials, and made Lebanon on a 
small scale what the papal states were before Garibaldi entered 
into Rome. They even had the power of life and death as in the 
case of Asaad es Shidiak. They kept the people in ignorance, 
and allowed of no schools, excepting those for training up a 
priesthood. They had for ages been appropriating the best lands 
of Lebanon, by intimidation of men on their death-beds, and by 
seizing the property of widows and orphans, so that it is true 
even to-day, that all the most fertile land, the finest water rights 
and the wooded hills of Lebanon belong to the bishops and the 
monks, and the fellahin are chiefly their tenants. 

But the upheaval of i860 deprived the priesthood of political 
power. The collapse of the patriarch's crusade to exterminate 
the Druses lessened greatly his prestige. When Rustem Pasha 
> «« Fellah " means " plowman.'' 

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2i8 Light After Darkness 

was in office (from 1871 to 1881) he exiled the Maronite Bishop 
Butrus el Bistany of B*teddin to Jerusalem, for political intrigue 
and banished a Papal Greek priest from Zahleh for beating 
a Protestant in the street* 

In the purely Maronite districts, the priests still try to 
'< manage" political affairs, but the people have learned their 
rights and are free to assert them. 

3. A stable, free, and virtually independent government was 
established in Lebanon. This was politically and socially the 
greatest boon to Syria in modern times. It is the freest, most 
peaceful and prosperous province in the empire, and is envied 
by the other provinces. It opened the way for the vigorous and 
industrious people to improve their property without fear of 
armed horsemen, tithe gatherers, extortioners and bribe-taking 
officials. No longer do mercenary judges and arbitrary rulers 
intimidate witnesses and corrupt the tribunals.^ The taxation is 
light and is all expended on local interests. When murders 
occur, the culprits are arrested and imprisoned, and murders 
would be much fewer, were capital punishment allowed. 

4. The domineering pride of the Damascus Mohammedans 
was broken. The enforcement of military conscription, the 
enormous money levies on the city and Moslem villages, the 
increase of the military garrison, and the introduction of 
municipal improvements, have lowered the tone and subdued the 
manner of the Damascene Moslems towards native Christians and 
foreigners. Christian schools have multiplied, the Turkish 
schools for boys and even girls are crowded with pupils, news- 
papers are published and read, and there is friendly intercourse 
between Moslems, Christians and Jews. 

5. The war of i860 forced tens of thousands of the people, 
great and small, rich and poor, out of their secluded villages and 
brought them into contact with foreign Chriistian benevolence. 

^That priest, Jeraijiry, afterwards was made bishop and patriarch, and 
became the most broad-minded and liberal of the Romish cleigy, the 
friend of education and most courteous and friendly to Americans. 

' At the present time, alas, this is no longer true. 

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Results of Reform 219 

The very men whom their priests had taught them wei'e godless, 
enemies of God and man, and emissaries of Satan, had fed and 
clothed them for months, given them medicine and medical 
attendance and helped them in rebuilding their houses in the fall 
and winter. No wonder that months afterwards, deputation after 
deputation came to Beirut asking the missionaries for teachers 
and schools, and that there was a growing demand for Arabic 
Scriptures and other useful books. 

In some of the remote and stricken villages there are now 
flourishing evangelical churches. In Zahleh, from which mis- 
sionaries had twice been driven out and stoned, there is a fine 
church edifice and four Protestant schools. This is the town 
which sent thirty armed horsemen in July, 1848, to Hasbeiya, 
ordering the Protestants to leave on penalty of death. In i860 
the mission had twenty-seven village schools. Now in the same 
territorial districts there are not less than 150, and the number 
could easily be increased were the means sufficient. 

6. A demand for education. No sooner had the sky cleared 
after the storm of i860, than there sprang up in all parts of the 
land a demand for schools, which has continued tb increase until 
the present time. It has resulted in the founding of not less 
than twenty Protestant boarding-schools and institutions in Syria 
and Palestine whose influence for good is incalculable. 

7. Then came a new demand for the Arabic Scriptures and 
other religious and miscellaneous books. Tlie new translation of 
the Arabic New Testament was printed in March, i860, just 
before the outbreak of the Civil War, and was ready for the 
multitudes who poured like a flood into Beirut from hundreds of 
villages in and around Mount Lebanon. Many out of their 
deep poverty bought the New Testament, to others it was given, 
and thus God's Word went back with the poor and stricken and 
disheartened people to comfort them in their desolate homes. 
On August 23, 1864, Dr. Van Dyck completed the translation 
and printing of the Old Testament, and in June left for the 
United States to attend to electrotyping the entire Arabic Bible. 
Since that time thirty-two editions of the Bible and parts of it 

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220 Light After Darkness 

have been issued from the Beirut Press, all of which bear on the 
title page the imperial sanction of the Ottoman government 
Up to 1909, more than nine hundred thousand copies of the 
Arabic Scriptures have been printed at the Beirut Press, and it 
now has a capacity for printing 50,000 Bibles a year. 

Dr. A. J. Brown says that " the Beirut Press is next to the 
greatest mission press in the world, being exceeded in output 
only by the Presbyterian Mission Press in Shanghai." 

The demand for the Arabic Scriptures is increasing, not only 
in Syria and Palestine, but in Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Arabia, 
India, Egypt and the Soudan, Tunis, Algiers, Morocco, Zanzibar^ 
Aden, the East Indies, North China, and every other country 
where the Arabic language is read and spoken. 

Much the same is true of the religious, educational and scientific 
works published by the American Press. About seven hundred 
and fifty millions of pages of all classes of publications have been 
printed at the American Press. The first impulse given by this 
press has called into existence a score of printing houses in 
Beirut and other parts of Syria. The largest of these is the 
Jesuit Press of the University of St Joseph, which has published 
a translation of the Vulgate Bible into the Arabic and a large line 
of works in Arabic literature. 

The land is filled with newspapers, and the people have awa. 
kened to a new intellectual life. Native booksellers tell me 
that the best selling books in the monasteries and among 
monks and priests are the flashy French novels translated into 

But the best selling book throughout the East to-day is the 
Bible. It has now a firm footing in the empire, and has been 
published in eleven languages. The Arabic version contests with 
the Koran the supremacy over the future intellectual, moral and 
religious life of the Arab race. The Koran is in one language 
exclusively for one sect, and is not allowed to be translated ; there 
are no Koran societies for distributing Korans among non- 
Moslems, and any copy of the Koran found in the possession of 
a native Christian or a European traveller is confiscated The 

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Turkish Schools 221 

Bible is freely offered for sale to all. More than sixty thousand 
copies of the Scriptures are sold annually in the Turkish Empire. 
The Word of God is having " free course " and it shall " be 

8. After the events of i860 and largely as a result of Protes- 
tant Missions, there was an intellectual and educational awaken- 
ing throughout the whole Turkish Empire. The American 
schools had been in operation forty years, before the Turkish 
government officially promulgated (in 1869) school laws, and 
instituted a scheme of governmental education. But there was 
no public school system for all the people. The government 
schools are for Mohammedan children, and thus exclude the 
millions of Christian children who must be provided for by their 
own sects, or by missionary societies. 

In 1864 there were said to be twelve thousand five hundred 
elementary mosque schools for reading the Koran, in which there 
were said to be half a million of students. In 1890, according to 
official reports, there were in the empire 41,659 schools of all 
kinds of which 3,000 are probably Christian and Jewish. As 
there are 35,598 mosques in the empire, and each mosque is 
supposed to have its " medriseh " or school, there would appear 
to be about 4,000 secular government schools not connected 
with the mosques, independent of ecclesiastical control by 
mollahs and sheikhs, and belonging to the imperial graded 
system of public instruction ; yet many of the mosque schools 
have now been absorbed into the government system so that 
there may be 20,000 of these so-called government schools. The 
great majority of the schools, public and private, native and 
foreign in the empire, have come into existence since i860, and 
now there are in the empire not less than 1,000 Protestant 
schools, with nearly 50,000 pupils. Of these 20,000 are girls, a 
fact most potent and eloquent with regard to the future of these 
interesting peoples. 

I can only recount briefly the history and work of the various 
evangelical institutions of the post-massacre period, i. ^., since 
the year i860. 

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222 Light After Darkness 

The Beirut Female Seminary 

After the events of i860 there followed an unprecedented 
demand for education for both boys and girls^ and this in higher 
schools than those in the villages. Foreign languages were 
wanted^ especially the Frenchi owing to the intimate commercial 
relations between Syria and France. After the reconstruction 
of Lebanon, the Abeih Seminary was reopened. But owing to 
the strictly vernacular policy enjoined by the American Board 
of Missions neither English nor French could be taught in it 
The same was true ol female education. Dr. De Forest had 
taught all the young women in his family school the English 
language, and it proved a priceless boon to them. But after 
the departure of the American young ladies who were expected 
to carry on his work, the question was reopened in Beirut, 
with regard to the propriety of teaching English and French. 
As it could not be done in a school supported by the Board 
it was decided in 1861 to open a girls' boarding-school in 
Beirut independent of the Board, and with native Syrian 

The first contribution towards it was given by Colonel Frazier 
H. B. M. Commissioner. Mr. M. Araman, his lovely wife and 
Miss Ruf ka Gregory who had been trained in the families of 
Mrs. Whiting and Mrs. De Forest, undertook the work. The 
school soon attained a high reputation, and after the departure 
of Miss Gregory (as Mrs. Muir) to Australia, it was found 
necessary to engage American lady teachers, and through the 
labours of Miss Everett, Miss Carruth, Miss Jackson, Miss Lor- 
ing, Miss Fisher, Miss Thomson, Miss Barber, Miss Law, Miss 
ToUes, and Miss Home, with an excellent corps of Syrian 
teachers, the seminary has become the leading girls' boarding- 
school south of Constantinople. It began with six charity 
pupils and now has sixty pa}ring boarders, and gives a high 
grade diploma to its graduates. And these graduates are in 
demand as teachers at good salaries in Syria and Egypt 
When Dr. A. J. Brown, secretary of the Presbyterian Board 
pf Missions, visited Cairo in 1902 with his wife they were sur« 

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Digitized by 


1. The Elliott F. Shepard Manse. 2. Ancient Bab ed Dirkeh, Beirut. 
3. Deir el Komr, Gateway of Seraia, In which sat the Turkish colonel 
during massacre of 1860. 4. American School for Girls, Beirut. 5. The 
Gerald F. Dale, Jr., Memorial Sunday School Hall. 6. Pillars of Forty 
Martyrs, Beirut. 

Digitized by 


Teaching English 223 

prised and delighted to attend an evening reception at the house 
of a lady eminent as a teacher in Cairo^ where they met about 
fifty cultivated ladies, her fellow graduates of the Beirut Semi- 

The EngUsh language is taught thoroughly, as it is now in all 
the Protestant high schools for boys and girls in Syria and Pales- 
tine and Egypt. The demand for English is one of the facts to be 
confronted in the opening of the twentieth century. It is rapidly 
supplanting French and Italian. No school can succeed witiiout 
it In 1870, on the transfer of the Syria Mission to the Presby- 
terian Board of Missions, this institution was adopted by the 
Women's Board of Missions and has been maintained by them to 
the present time. 

On December 14, 1870, the executive committee of the semi- 
nary consisted of Drs. Thomson, Van Dyck, H. H. Jessup, of 
Beirut, Messrs. Bird and Calhoun of Abeih, Dr. Daniel Bliss and 
Dr. George E. Post of the Syrian Protestant College. We then 
addressed to the new Presbyterian Board of Missions an historical 
statement and appeal on behalf of the seminary. We urged the 
raising of an endowment of ^30,000, or, in default of this, a 
permanent provision for its support. We said, ** We believe that 
it has an important future before it in the great work of female 
education and evangelization in this land. It is an institution 
which should enlist the sympathies and prayers of the mothers 
and daughters of the thousands in our Presbyterian Israel. Here 
in the land of Hannah and Rachel, of Ruth and Mary, would we 
lay wisely and permanently the foundations of a school which is 
to train the daughters of Syria of all sects and tribes in all the 
generations to come." 

In 1864, the mission authorized me, during a brief visit of 
thirteen weeks in the United States, to raise funds for the 
erection of a suitable building for the Beirut Seminary, on the 
mission premises, by adding to the old mission house or " Buij 
Bird," erected by Rev. Isaac Bird in 1834. With the cordial 
cooperation of Hon. William E. Dodge, and Mr. William A. 
Booth of New York, Matthew Baldwin, John A. Brown, Horace 

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224 Light After Darkness 

Pitkin and Jay Cooke of Philadelphia, and many others, a sum of 
ten thousand dollars was raised. A cholera epidemic interrupted 
the building from July to November, 1865, but it was completed 
and dedicated in 1866. In 1869 a beautiful porch was erected 
over the main entrance by Mrs. D. Stuart Dodge. 

What changes and what contrasts are suggested by such a 
building, and for such an object on the shores of old Phoenicia I 
Young maidens of the children of Japheth coming seven thou- 
sand miles across the great ocean beyond the Pillars of Hercules 
to teach the Semitic girls the religion of their own greatest 
Prophet, the Incarnate Son of God I An American school for 
Syrian girls! An evangelical school for Moslem and Druse, 
Greek and Maronite, Papal Greek, Jacobite, Armenian and 
Jewish girls ! Any school for girls would have been an impossi- 
bility when the American missionaries first landed in Syria. 
The people thought and said that there was more hope of teach- 
ing a cat than a girl. The Moslems said that girls could not be 
trusted with a knowledge of reading and writing. Girls were 
to be servants, slaves, beaten, despised, degraded, dishonoured. 
They could not be trusted. No Moslem would allow his 
wife's face to be seen by his own father or brother. No 
Moslem would mention the word woman in the presence of 
other men without saying, ** Ajellak Allah," which means. May 
God exalt you above the contamination of such a vile subject ! 
The Mohammedan religion has destroyed the family, degraded 
women, heaped ignominy and reproach upon the girls. Secluded 
at home, veiled when abroad, without training, veracity, virtue 
or self-respect, men despised them and they despised themselves. 
If a European doctor insists on seeing the face of a sick Moslem 
woman, the husband has often been known to say, " Never, let 
her die first — but no man shall ever see her face." 

The Oriental Christian women were driven into partial seclu- 
sion by the intense fanaticism of their Moslem neighbours. 
When the seminary was opened in 1861, no parent could be in- 
duced to pay a piastre for the education of a daughter. The 
first class of six consisted only of charity pupils, and the first de- 

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Labour of Love 225 

mand for payment for board met a serious rebellion. From 
1 861 to iS/Of the burden of supporting this school rested on me. 
The American Board declined to help it as it taught English and 

This school was carried on in faith. At times we did not 
know where the funds for the week's expenses were to come 
from» but the Lord provided wonderfully and the school lacked 
no good thing. On the last day of December, 1869, Mr. Araman, 
the teacher, came to me and asked for money to the amount of 
three or four thousand piastres (about ^150) to pay urgent bills. 
I told him we had not a piastre in the treasury. We conferred 
and laid the matter before the Lord in prayer, and he went 
away. Just then came a knock at the door. Mr. Stuart Dodge 
came in with a package containing thirty-three and a half Na- 
poleons, which he had found in the mission safe, deposited there 
by Mr. Booth and labelled '' for the girls* school." Then came 
another gift of ten Napoleons from an unexpected source, ma- 
king 850 francs or about ^i/Of so that our prayers were answered 
and our credit saved. 

For nine years I raised by correspondence with personal 
friends and Sabbath-schools the salaries of the teachers and the 
scholarship funds to support the girls. Tourists passing through 
Beirut gave substantial aid, but it was a growing burden, and 
great was my joy when the new Presbyterian Women's Board of 
Missions assumed the support of the Beirut Girls' School and 
placed it on a substantial basis. Up to that time the school had 
no financial connection with the American Board. Miss 
Everett, its first American teacher, was appointed missionary 
of the Board, but her salary was paid by Mrs. Walter Baker, 
the saint of Dorchester. 

We fought the battle to maintain the school, although it was 
not on the simple vernacular basis required by the American 
Board, and I regard it as one of the best labours of my life that 
I carried this darling school on my shoulders and on my heart 
for nine years. It has been a blessing indescribable to Syria and 
the East A change has come over men and women, too, in 

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226 Light After Darkness 

Syria. In 1878, the seminary received from paying pupib 
eleven hundred dollars. It no\v (1909) receives annually about 
three thousand dollars and has to turn away many pupils for 
want of room. 

It is a high school teaching Arabic grammar, arithmetic, alge- 
bra, astronomy, botany, physiology, history, ethics, English and 
French, with music and drawing for those willing to pay for 
them. There is a regular academic course giving a diploma 
which warrants the preparation of the graduates for teaching. 
It is also a thoroughly evangelical and Biblical school. All the 
pupils are instructed daily in the Bible, and brought under re- 
ligious influence in the church and Sabbath-school and in the 
seminary family. Nothing of religious instruction is abated or 
relaxed on account of the religion or nationality of any pupil. 
Her parents know that it is a religious institution, and yet are 
willing to pay for its privileges. The Orientals do not believe in 
non-religious schools. They think every man is bound to have a 
religion of some kind, and prefer to have their children taught 
our religion rather than none at all. 

The building cost about eleven thousand dollars. The lumber 
was brought from the state of Maine. The windows and doors 
were made in Lowell, Mass., as before mentioned. The stone 
pavement of the floor was brought from Italy, the tiles for the roof 
from Marseilles. The cream-coloured sandstone of which the 
walls are built was quarried near Beirut ; the stone stairs are from 
Mount Lebanon. The desks are from New York, the zinc roof of 
the cupola from England, the glass from Vienna, and the pe- 
troleum oil for the lamps from Batoum. The playground in the 
rear of the seminary is shaded with beautiful zinzalakht or Pride 
of India trees which were planted in 1839 by Dr. Thomson and 
Mr. Story Hebard. In the attic of the old part of the seminaiy 
building is the room where the Bible was translated by Dr. Eli 
Smith (1848-1857) and Dr. Cornelius V. A. Van Dyck (1857- 
1865). This great work is commemorated by a marble tablet on 
the wall, erected by Dr. Daniel C. Gilman of Johns Hopkins 

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Syrian Girk 227 

Just in front of the church is a memorial column, to mark the 
site on which was erected in 1835, for Mrs. Eli Smith, the first 
edifice for the education of girls ever erected in the Turkish Em- 
pire. It was a day-school for thirty little girls which only con- 
tinued for a few months and was suspended on the departure 
of Mrs. Smith for Smyrna where she died September 30, 

The pupils of the Beirut Seminary are native Syrian, Egyptian 
and a few Armenian girls, from ten to sixteen years of age. 
Many of them are bright and quick to learn, and comely in ap- 
pearance. Nine out of ten of them have black eyes, as have the 
majority of the Arab race. A blonde in Syria is rare, and conse- 
quently greatly admired. These girls go forth from the semi- 
nary cultivated and refined, ready to be teachers of youth or 
. wives and mothers of families. Many of the graduates have been 
truly converted. This seminary is a light shining in a dark 
place, and it has been shining to such good purpose that the 
dark place itself is becoming light. Beirut is a city of schools, 
and it has none more useful or successful than this American 
female seminary. In April, 1904, the alumnae of the seminary, 
resident in Egypt, presented to the institution an elegant oil 
portrait of Miss Eliza D. Everett, the first American teacher in 
the seminary, and who was connected with it for more than 
twenty-five years. Mrs. W. W. Taylor (nee Miss Sophie B. Lor- 
ing) of the seminary in the year 1886 raised in the United 
States the necessary funds for building a summer home or sani- 
tarium for the Beirut Seminary. It is located in Suk el Gharb 
on a rocky ledge overlooking the mountain slopes, the plain and 
the blue sea, is well built and convenient and is known as Beit 
Loring or Loring House. It is in sight of Beirut, and nine 
miles distant, 2,500 feet above sea level. 

The British Syrian Schools and Bible Mission 
This interesting mission is a direct result of the massacres of 
i860. I well remember the arrival of its founder, Mrs. J. Bo wen 
Thompson, in the latter part of October, i860. We had been for 

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228 Light After Darkness 

four months labouring early and late to feed the hungry and 
clothe the naked refugees, who had gathered in thousands in 
Beirut The city and environs were crowded with widows and 
orphans. Large contributions had come from England in 
money, clothing, blankets and bedding. I learned that an Eng- 
lish lady, who had been connected with the London Syrian Re- 
lief Fund, had arrived in Beirut anxious to do something for the 
temporal and spiritual welfare of the widows and orphans. We 
found her to be an intelligent and consecrated Christian 
widow, whose husband, Dr. Thompson, had died in the British 
Military Hospital at Scutari after service in the Crimea, and who 
had lived several years in the vicinity of Antioch, and who had 
come to aid in the relief of the sufTering. We extended to her 
the hand of welcome and sympathy, and during all the nine 
subsequent years of her life in Syria it was our privilege to co- 
operate with her in her work for the daughters of Syria. She 
began at once her labours by hiring a house and gathering the 
widows and orphan girls to learn sewing and reading. She 
opened a laundry for the men of the British fleet, thus giving em- 
ployment to many women. She engaged the services of experi- 
enced young women teachers trained in the American Mission 
" for such a time as this," and soon had a flourishing school. 
Her work extended to the homes of her widows and orphans, 
Hasbeiya, Damascus, Zahleh, etc., until in twelve years she had 
twenty-three schools, twelve in Beirut and eleven in the interior, 
with 1,522 pupils, seventy-nine teachers, and seven Bible- women. 
After her death, November 14, 1869, her work was carried on 
successively by her sisters, Mrs. Augusta Mentor Mott and Mrs, 
Susette Smith* and was greatly enlarged until there were forty 
schools, 3,000 pupils, and a corps of Bible-women. The mission 
is undenominational, although Mrs. Thompson and her sisters 
belonged to the Church of England, and their English lady 
teachers have regularly attended our mission services with their 
Syrian teachers and pupils. 

These English and Scotch ladies have certainly evinced the 
most admirable courage and resolution in entering several of 

Digitized by 


British Syrian Schools 229 

these places, without European society^ and isolated for months 
together from persons speaking their own language, except when 
visited by the missionaries on their itineration or by casual 
tourists. And not a few of these consecrated women have 
laboured at their own expense and given largely of their private 
means to carry on the work. 

Such instances as these have demonstrated the fact that where 
woman is to be reached, woman can go, and Christian women 
from Christian lands, even if beyond the age generally fixed as 
the best adapted to the easy acquisition of a foreign language, 
may yet do a great work in maintaining centres of influence at 
the outposts, superintending the labours of native teachers, and 
giving instruction in the English language. The young girls 
graduating from our Beirut, Sidon and Tripoli boarding-schools 
and the British Syrian Training Institution in Beirut, cannot go 
to distant places as teachers and aught not to go according to both 
foreign and Syrian standards of propriety without a home and 
protection provided for them. Such protection is given by a 
European or American woman who has the independence and 
resolution to go where no missionary family resides and carry on 
the work of female education. 

The British Syrian schools are doing a good work in promo- 
ting Bible education, and the relations between their teachers and 
directors and the American Mission have always been of the 
most harmonious character. And why not ? We are engaged 
in a common work surrounded by thousands of needy perishing 
souls, Mohammedan, pagan and nominal Christian, — and the 
Lord's husbandmen ought to work together, forgetting and 
ignoring all diversities of nationality, denomination and social 
customs. There should be no such word as American, 
English, Scotch or German attached to any enterprise that 
belongs to the common Master. The common foe is united 
in opposition. Let us be united in every practicable way. Let 
our name be Christian, our work one of united sympathy, 
prayer and cooperation, and let not Christ be divided in His 

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230 Li^t After Darkness 

The Institutb of the Prussian Deaconesses of Kaiserswsrth 

IN Beirut 

The Orphan Home» boarding-school and Johanniter Hospital, 
with which the Prussian deaconesses are connected, were estab- 
lished in i860. The two former are supported by the Kaisers- 
werth institution in Germany, and the latter by the Knights of 
St John of Berlin. These consecrated sisters have trained 
hundreds of orphan girls and educated the daughters of the 
foreign residents for more than forty-five years. They have 
regularly 1 30 orphan girls, and about one hundred European 
paying boarders and day pupils. 

These schools were a direct outcome of the massacres of i860, 
and the teachers and nurses were among the first to come to the 
relief of the sufferers, and for months kept open a soup kitchen 
for the hungry in aid of which our Relief Committee supplied 

The Johanniter Hospital of Beirut 

This noble institution was a direct outgrowth of the massacres 
of i860. The Knights of St. John in Berlin sent Count Bismarck 
Bohlen who hastened to send medical aid and nurses to the 
sufferers from the massacres. They began their work in Sidon 
and then removed to Beirut where Fuad Pasha gave them a tract 
of land, a rocky hillside where they built a commodious hospital. 
The nurses are a corps of nine deaconesses from Kaiserswerth, and 
the physicians the American medical professors in the Syrian 
Protestant College. The sitd is salubrious and cheerful and 
thousands of patients, indoor and outside-clinical, have blessed its 
founders and attendants for forty-four years. A local Curatorium 
of Germans, British, and Americans, is the organ of communication 
with the Order of the Knights of St. John in Berlin. The Em- 
peror William II, on his visit to Beirut in 1898, conferred a 
decoration upon Rev. George E. Post, M. D., the dean of the 
American faculty. 

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Mrs. Watson's Schools 231 

Mrs. Watson's Lebanon Schools 

Soon after the massacres, in 1862 I think, Mrs. £. H. Watson, 
after teaching in Valparaiso, New York and Athens came to 
Syria and opened a girls' school in Beirut, then in Shemlan and 
lastly in Ain Zehalteh. The Shemlan school was transferred 
to the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East, and 
recently to the British Syrian Schools and Bible Mission. Mrs. 
Watson erected two school buildings in Ain Zehalteh as a per- 
manent school for Protestant orphan boys, and purchased a large 
tract of land whose income was to support tiie school. Mrs. 
Watson died in Shemlan July 29, 1891. The Ain Zehalteh 
property has been diverted by her heirs to personal use and the 
school perished for want of support. 

The Shemlan school has been a blessing to the land and con* 
tinues to give a sound Christian training. Under the care of the 
British Syrian Mission its future is assured. 

Church op Scotland Schools for Jewish Boys 
AND Girls in Beirut 

These schools were established in 1865 under the care of Rev. 
James Robertson then pastor of the Anglo-American Congrega- 
tion in Beirut. They are now under the care of Rev. George M. 
Mackie, D. D., with an efficient corps of teachers, and a boarding- 
school for Jewesses has been opened under the direction of Miss 
Milne. One of the teachers of the boys' school is a converted 
Jew of the family of Harari of Damascus, who has been a faithful 
teacher for more than thirty years. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have 
now undertaken the teaching in the boys' day-schools. These 
schools have done much to break down the contemptuous pride 
and the superstitious practices of the Syrian Jews, and the results 
of forty years of patient labour are apparent in the friendly 
attitude of the younger generation. 

Dr. Mackie, as acting pastor of the Anglo-American Congrega- 
tion in Beirut, has endeared himself to the whole community. 

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232 Light After Darkness 

Miss Jessie Taylor's St. George's School for 
Moslem and Druse Girls 

This school was opened in 1868 for the poorest of the poor 
Moslems. For a long time it had only day pupils, but now for 
years it has received from twenty to forty boarders and with her 
sewing classes for poor women, has been an mitold blessing to 
hundreds of Moslem families. Miss Taylor has won the confi- 
dence of all classes, native and foreign, and has instructed multi* 
tudes of women and girls. On her seventieth birthday she re- 
ceived a testimonial of seventy gold sovereigns from her friends 
of the foreign community, and still lives to bless the people of 
Syria. Mohammedan men as well as women come to consult 
her, and often come in crowds to her evangelical preaching 
service on Sunday evening. 

References to her and her work will be made later. 

Digitized by 


After the Massacres 

Removal to Beirut — ^Retrenchment — ^The Abu Rikatx 

IN i860 I was transferred from Tripoli to Sidon. But my 
goods, shipped on a *' shakhtoor/' were driven into Beirut 
harbour by a storm, and the mission by an emergency vote 
directed me to stay in Beirut where I have since remained. I 
undertook the Arabic preaching to lessen the burden on Dr. 

In May of that year Mr. and Mrs. Wilson left for America with 
their children, one of whom, Samuel Tyndale, is now president 
of Maryville College, Tennessee. 

The English preaching services also devolved upon us. The 
missionaries had maintained them since 1826. It was in 1866 
that the Church of Scotland agreed to supply those services, be- 
ginning with the Rev. James Robertson. 

The French occupation was a curse to Syria. Fifty grog- 
shops and many houses of ill fame were opened and drunkenness 
became a vice theretofore little known. 

In April, 1861, Rev. D. Stuart Dodge with his bride, Ellen 
Phelps, sister of William Walter Phelps, visited Syria. His 
meeting Dr. Bliss, who came down from Suk d Gharb to meet 
Mr. and Mrs. Greorge D. Phelps of New York, was the beginning 
of a friendship never interrupted since, and which resulted in 
the founding of the Syrian Protestant College, of which his 
sainted father, William E. Dodge, laid the corner-stone in 
December, 1871. 

In February, 1 861, we heard that Mr. Lincoln had offered my 
father a diploknatic post, and on his refusal had offered to appoint 
my brother Samuel consul at Beirut. It was thought he could 


Digitized by 


234 After the Massacres 

master the language during his incumbency and then enter his 
missionary work. 

We successfully dissuaded Samuel from a step which would 
have been so disastrous to his missionary influence. It would 
have impregnated his whole future with a political tinge that 
would have been in direct antagonism to the spiritual character 
of his life-work. Samuel thereupon volunteered as a chaplain^ 
and my brothers George, William and Huntting also entered 
the army. But the relief work we were engaged in in Syria 
was a duty so high and pressing we had to choke down our 
eagerness to go home and do our share. 

July 3d the Sultan, Abdul Medjid died and was succeeded 
by Abdul Aziz. On the 4th, a brilliant comet was visible, and 
we had our Fourth of July celebration, with the native illumination 
of the city in honour of the new ruler. I made an address from 
Isaiah 8: 12, which from its reference to the '^confederacy'' 
was startling to my hearers. 

July 1 8th Daud Pasha was inaugurated as governor-general 
of the new pashalic of Mount Lebanon. The ceremony took 
place in Beirut barracks, llie firman of appointment was read 
in Turkish and Arabic, and addresses were made by Maronite 
and Greek priests, and the cavalcade set out for Deir el Komr. 
During the reading, a Deir el Komr widow saw in the crowd the 
Druse who had murdered her husband and by her screams 
compelled the pasha to order his arrest and imprisonment at 
once. As the pasha's party of mounted Christians and Druses 
entered Deir el Komr en route for the palace of B'teddin, the 
widows who had returned sprang on the Druse horsemen and 
forbade their reentering the town. They had to retreat and take 
another road. During the summer, the French wagon road to 
Damascus was completed and became a great public benefit 
The French evacuation in June did not eradicate the effects of 
the occupation. These were both good and evil. The French 
army restored order, reassured the people, and quieted the land. 
But the army followers, who opened forty liquor saloons and 
many houses of ill fame in Beirut, introduced among the thousands 

Digitized by 


Evil Influence of Europeans 235 

of youths in Beirut licentiousness and intemperance to a degree 
never known before. 

I regret to say that the example of the English was not much 
better. In July, 1861, five midshipmen from the British liner 
Mars came ashore in Beirut and after drinking more brandy 
than was safe, entered the confectionery shop of M. Troyet, a 
Frenchman,* and demanded more liquor. M. Troyet, seeing 
their intoxicated condition, refused them, whereupon they 
opened a broadside of chairs and canes upon the mirrors, glass 
cases, jars, and furniture of the saloon, doing damage to the 
amount of five thousand francs. Complaint was made and the 
••young gentlemen" were court-martialled, imprisoned, and fined 
to the full amount. A fine example for Englishmen to set be- 
fore the Arabs of Beirut. 

In August, 1 861, 1 visited Zahleh from which Messrs. Dodds 
and Benton were expelled in 1859. I found five Protestants, 
Musa Ata and others, but the people at large looked at me with 
undisguised animosity. I wrote at the time, " The scenery about 
Zahleh is charming ; around you are the ranges of Lebanon and 
the splendid plains of the Bookaa half covered, at this season, 
with bright green fields of Indian corn, and the threshing-floors 
piled high with myriads of sheaves of wheat and barley and 
other grains. A small river of cold crystal water, the Bardouni, 
runs down through the narrow valley which divides the town 
into two distinct quarters. The people are a hearty, vigorous, 
and superior looking race, and some day the Lord will bring 
them into the light." 

The Turkish government began to collect a million dollars 
from the Moslems of Damascus, and their rage was so great that 
they plotted another massacre. They planned killing the pasha, 
and then all the Christians and foreigners left in the city. But 
though the plot was discovered and thwarted, yet it produced a 
new panic in the city and all over Syria. Miss Mason and Miss 
Temple reopened the girls' school in Suk with six pupils. Mr. 
Calhoun, in the Abeih Seminary, being unable for want of 
funds to open the school, received a small class of men for theo* 

Digitized by 


236 After the Massacres 

logical instruction. In the printing of the new Arabic transla- 
tion of the Old Testamentt Dr. Van Dyck had proceeded as far as 
.the thirty-third chapter of the Book of Numbers. But owing to 
the inferior character of the old printing machine^ it was ex- 
tremely difficult to obtain a register, that is, to have pages corre- 
spond on the opposite sides of the leaf. So Mr. Hurter, the 
printer, was authorized to visit America and obtain, if possible, a 
new and improved machine. 

A meteor, said to be of the size of the full moon, passed over 
Anti-Lebanon early in August and moved to the southwest of 
Mount Hermon, leaving a train of fire behind it. It passed off to- 
wards Carmel and exploded with a noise like a cannon. 

A young Englishman named Lee visited the famous Dog 
River, nine miles from Beirut, for the purpose of studying the 
inscriptions on the ancient rock-hewn tablets of Sesostris, 
Esarhaddon, and others, of which there were nine. On reading 
his ** Murray's Guide," he was surprised to find that the face of 
one of the ancient tablets had been smoothed down by a chisel, 
and a French inscription cut upon it, commemorating the 
French military expedition to Syria in 1860-61 with the name 
of Napoleon III, and the officers of the army. Supposing it to 
have been the work of some unauthorized vandal, he took a 
stone and defaced the emperor's name from the inscription. On 
his return to Beirut he was summoned to the British consulate to 
answer a charge of the French consul that he had destroyed 
French property. He then wrote an apologetic answer to the 
French consul and also expressed his surprise that the French 
officials who had sent Renan to explore the Syrian antiquities 
should have authorized the destruction of one of its most ancient 
monuments. The French consul returned his lett^ as unsatis- 
factory and there the incident closed. 

In September Messrs. Ford and Lyons laid the corner-stone of 

/ a new church in El Khiyam. Sixty dollars of the money used in 

this building was money received by me from Sunday-schools in 

America and given to poor Protestants for buying seed wheat. 

They sowed the wheat, harvested it and repaid the money for 

Digitized by 


Retrenching 237 

the church edifice, and thus it has done a double service, in giv- 
ing bread to their bodies and the bread of life to their souls. 

On September 20th, we received orders from Dr. Anderson of 
the A. B. C. F. M. to cut off one-third of our expenses. So 
we met and applied the surgeon's knife, cutting down our own 
salaries, and those of all the native agents, and closing the boys' 
and girls' boarding-schools. We did this as an expression of 
our sympathy with our sufTering friends in America. October 
17, 1861, I wrote to the missionary society of Illinois College 
urging the claims of missions and apologizing for a brief letter 
on the ground of pressure of duties, as I had to preach in Arabic 
every Sunday and in English once a month, conduct a weekly 
Arabic Bible class, a singing school, translate hymns for a new 
hymn-book, correspond regularly with the missions at Aleppo, 
Aintab, Latakia, Smyrna, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Cairo, at- 
tend to receiving and forwarding all mails, English and Arabic, 
and all boxes for the press, and for individuals, attend to a large 
private correspondence, attend meetings of the Anglo-American 
Relief Committee, and the Claims Commission for losses during 
the massacres. 

At this datq the mission was reduced to seven men, Messrs. 
Wilson and Hurter having left for America and Messrs. Eddy 
and Bird being still absent, and we were earnest in pleading for 
reinforcement. We had abandoned, for the time being, the 
whole of Syria north of the Dog River, and awaited help from 
our afflicted native land. I removed my home in Beirut to Beit 
Jebaili in the eastern quarter and was surrounded by Damascene 
refugees, many of them very delightful and lovely people. Mrs. 
Jessup and I opened at once a Sunday-school and I had a weekly 
Bible class for men and women. In 1862 we opened a school 
for their girls with a pupil of Mrs. De Forest, Mrs. Saada Haleby, 
as teacher, and soon we had ninety girls under instruction. 
That school was afterwards in 1864 transferred to Mrs. Bowen 
Thompson, founder of the British Syrian Schools. 

The severe retrenchments and closing of Abeih Seminary com- 
pelled leading Protestants to send their sons to Lazarist and Jes- 

Digitized by 


238 After the Massacres 

uit Schools. Even the zealous Dr. Meshaka of Damascus, the 
Martin Luther of Syria, sent his son to Antura, the famous school 
of the Lazarists. In October, 1861, the French fleet of six liners 
sailed away from Beirut At the same time two of the better 
class of Druse sheikhs, Yusef Abdul Melek and the Emir Mo- 
hammed Arslan were released from prison and returned to their 
homes, and were afterwards useful in the government of Lebanon. 

My brother Samuel was ordained by the New School Presby- 
tery of Montrose, September loth, having been excused from his 
regiment for the purpose and then returned to the army, where he 
remained until after the battle of Malvern Hills, July 31, 1862. 

In the middle of October, Beirut was visited by its first epi- 
demic of dengue fever, called by the Arabs " Abu Rikab " (father 
of the knees), from the severe pain at the knees. Not less than 
25,000 out of a population of 60,000 of the people were sick at one 

Whole families were prostrated, but very few died. It was 
supposed that no more than 2,000 of the 60,000 people escaped 
it. It was probably caused by the filthy state of the city and the 
gardens, after the residence of so many thousands for nine months, 
with no regard for sanitary precautions and no steps taken by 
the government to prevent disease. For forty days not a cloud 
appeared and the sky was like burning brass. There had been 
but one day of rain for six months. The sick longed for rain. 
About December ist, when the dark clouds had gathered in the 
southwest larger than a man's hand, Fuad Pasha ordered the re- 
ligious heads of all sects to assemble in the public square and 
pray for rain. After they had assembled, the wind rose and one 
Maronite priest prayed holding an umbrella over his head. Fuad 
Pasha had not studied his barometer in vain, for that night the 
rain descended in torrents and continued for ten days. The air 
was cooled, the sick recovered, and the epidemic ceased. 

A strange event took place at this time in Beirut. Mr. Giur- 
gius Jimmal, a wealthy Protestant of Acre, whose house was at- 
tacked by a gang of Moslem robbers, succeeded, with the aid of 
his servants, in binding them and shaving ofT their beards^ They 

Digitized by 


Fuad Pasha 239 

complained of the indignity^ and the government arrested Mr. 
Jtmmal and put him in irons for ten days and only released him 
at the protest of G>lonel Frazier^ H. B. M. Commissioner in Syria. 
The robbers were not molested. 

November, 186I9 was a period of great anxiety. The Board 
had cut off $6fiOO from our mission funds. We were all over* 
worked The great work of the mission, the translation of the 
Scriptures, was in jeopardy. The health of Dr. Van Dyck was 
very precarious. He suffered from severe headaches, was thin 
and weak, and had serious effusion in his joints. Yet in addition 
to his labours of Bible translation, he was constantly called on for 
medical advice and attention, in the mission families and among 
the people, and we were full of apprehension lest his health fail 
and the great work of Old Testament translation be indefinitely 
postponed. This fact added force to our appeals for reinforce- 
ment, but none came for fifteen months afterwards. 

On December 14, 1861, Fuad Pasha left on the frigate Tayif 
for Constantinople to enter on his office as Sadr Azam or grand 
vizier. The Beirut people gave him an ovation on his departure 
and no man in modern times has been more popular in Syria* 
He took with him fifty blooded Arab horses, the finest display ever 
seen in Beirut. Not less than 3,000 trunks, boxes, barrels, baskets, 
and packages were sent on board the corvette which went with 
the Tayif as a tender. The Pasha of Beirut sent him some 500 
baskets and boxes containing lemons and oranges, dried fruits, 
silks, rugs, furniture, and all the chief officials vied with each 
other in sending him rich presents. In return he bestowed liber- 
ally decorations of different grades of the Medjidiyeh order. 

On December 20th, Mr. Ford of Sidon sailed for England, at the 
expense of the Turkish Mission's Aid Society, for three months' 
absence, to plead the cause of Christian education and evangeli- 
zation in Syria. In a letter to Dr. Wortabet, January 4, 1862, 1 
stated that immediate steps would be taken to establish a large 
Protestant native institution in Beirut of a high order, with the 
cooperation of all the missions in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt 
As will be seen elsewhere, in the sketch of the Syrian Protestant 

Digitized by 


240 After the Massacres 

College, we had under serious consideration the sending of a 
learned Syrian, Mr. B. Bistany, to join Mr. Ford in his appeals 
for the new institution. It was wisely given up. A dual control 
in an institution will end in disaster. A native school, founded 
and supported by natives, should be under native control. A 
foreign school, founded by foreign funds, should be under foreign 

On December 28th, we were in intense anxiety with regard to 
threatening war between England and America, growing out of 
the Mason and Slidell affair. It would have cut off all our mails 
and supplies and would have been inexpressibly disastrous to our 

Digitized by 







Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Further Growth (i 862-1 865) 

Temporary converts — Systematic giving — Mr. CoflBng's murder— The 
Nusairiyeh — The plan for a college. 

THE opening of 1862 was marked by a mission vote of 
momentous consequence. It was to establish a college 
in Beirut with Rev. Daniel Bliss as its president, and on 
August 24th he sailed with his family for America to raise funds 
for its support. In April Miss Temple left for the United States, 
and after her arrival she was married to Mr. George Gould of 
Boston. On the 27th of July Rev. William Bird and family were 
welcomed back to Syria. They had been absent for two years, 
and took up their residence in Abeih, the home of Mr. and Mrs. 
Calhoun. In October Miss Mason opened a girls' school in Sidon 
and resided with the family of Mr. Ford. The Beirut Girls' 
Boarding-School also opened in October, taught by Mr. Michaiel 
Araman and Miss Rufka Gregory, with no support from the 

Early in January, during the rainy season, the city of Mecca, 
the Holy City of 150,000,000 Moslems, was visited by a cloud- 
burst with terrific thunder and lightning. It commenced at mid- 
night and the swelling flood poured down from Jebel-en-Nur into 
the midst of the city, and filled up the sacred mosque, the Haram 
Esh Sherif, with water to the depth of sixteen feet, submerging 
the famous black stone, and with it thirty unfortunate men who 
were sleeping in the mosque. The greater part of the fine library 
of Arabic books was utterly destroyed, a loss beyond repair, as this 
library contained several books not extant in any other library in the 
world. Three hundred houses and shops were destroyed, 300 lives 
lost, and one-third of the city was in ruins. Was it an accident or a 
Providence, that the British Consul-General Wood of Tunis ar- 
rested an agent from Mecca with letters on his person proving 


Digitized by 


242 Further Growth 

that the Damascene massacre was concocted in Mecca? This 
coming in connection with the flooding of the Kaaba is a proof 
that sometimes the plots of the workers of iniquity return upon 
their own heads. 

January 35th— At that date there were six hundred Protestants 
in the Sidon district, five hundred in Lebanon, two hundred in 
Beirut, forty in Hums, and thirty in the Tripoli field. A part of 
the Hasbeiya widows now decided to return to their ruined town 
and homes. They had a meeting at my house, and one of them, a 
consecrated Christian woman, addressed them in language which 
it almost broke my heart to hear. She comforted them with the 
words of Christ, telling them that He loves them and will be a father, 
husband, and brother to them, and if they love Him, will bring them 
home to rest in peace in heaven at last She said, ** Be patient 
and trusting ; have faith in God ; love one another and try to bear 
up under this heavy load of sorrow." I felt that this truly was 
the sweet fruit of the Gospel and I thanked God that some of 
these poor sufTering ones had been taught to look to Jesus for 
rest and peace. 

It was at this time that the mission voted to set apart Rev. 
Daniel Bliss to the principalship of the new literary institution. 

A spasmodic Protestant movement took place at B'teddin-el- 
Luksh, near Jezzin. It was a characteristic Maronite device to 
stop the oppression of their priests. We sent a teacher and 
opened a school. The bishop and priest arrested and imprisoned 
several men and began their usual policy of force and excom- 
munication. Colonel Frazier, H. B. M. Commissioner, interfered 
on their behalf, and they held out six months, when, having carried 
their lawsuit against the priests, they became reconciled and re- 
turned to Rome, and drove out Asaad el Ashshi, the teacher. 
This is a typical case. In at least a dozen Maronite villages of 
Lebanon several hundreds at a time have professed Protestant- 
ism, obtained a school, frightened the priests, secured their 
claims, and slid back again to the old sect with the blandest of 
smiles, as though they had efiected a fine business transaction. 

Such has been the case with B'teddin-d-Luksh, Cana, Wady 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 



1. Michael Gharzuzy. 2. Nicola Tobbajy. 3. sSelim Kessab. 4. Fran- 
cis Shemaoon. 5. John Abcarius. 6. Michael Araman. 7. Ibrahim 
Hourani. 8. Yusef Abd en Nur. 

Digitized by 


Systematic Beneficence 243 

Shehrur, Deraoon, Mezraat-Yeshua, Kornet-el-Homra, and other 
places, until all that is necessary in a Maronite village, when 
the tyranny of the priests becomes too galling to be endured, is 
to threaten to become Protestants en masse, and then the clergy 
surrender. Yet each such movement lets in a little light, sows a** 
few Bibles, teaches the children a few hymns and Scripture 
truths, and in most cases removes old prejudices against Protes- 
tantism. The people tell us that the very presence of Protestant 
missionaries in the land is a shield over the people against the 
extortions and oppressions of their clergy. 

A new movement now took place in the Evangelical Church 
in Beirut which was a blessing to the people. An evangelical 
missionary society was formed on the systematic benevolence 
plan, every one, old and young, agreeing to give a fixed sum, 
however smaU, every week. The amount thus raised surprised 
every one. The officers were all Syrians. Similar societies were 
organized in Abeih, Suk, El Khiyam, and Deir Mimas. The 
great part of the Damascenes and Hasbeiyans, widows in the 
school of Mrs. Bowen Thompson, who were wretchedly poor, in- 
sisted on writing their names, and took delight in giving of their 
deep poverty for the spread of the Gospel. The cheering news 
from Hums that a multitude was seeking instruction, that two 
Greek priests had doffed their robes and opened shops, that three 
villages near Damascus were asking for teachers, and a general 
awakening in Zahleh, Shweir, and Aitaneet, inspired the Beirut 
society to assume the entire support of M. Sulleeba Jerawan in 
Hums. The letter from Hums signed by thirty-six men was 
very touching. They said that they had been taught by Mr. 
Wilson to study God's Word and they had done so for two years 
and now they longed for a spiritual guide, for " We are as sheep 
without a shepherd. We are ready to suffer persecution and loss. 
Come over and help us." A month later hot persecution arose, 
imprisonment, beating, and anathemas. Many who were forced 
back into the Greek Church formed a Bible class and were aided 
by an enlightened priest, Aiesa, who largely aided the Protestant 

Digitized by 


244 Further Growth 

This was the first movement towards " Christian Giving " in 
Syria. One of the brethren said to me, " Truly the Lord has 
prepared our hearts for this." Another said, ** There is a great 
preparation for this among the people, and it will be good to feel 
that we are giving to the Lord, and helping others as the Lord 
has helped us." 

The Greek priests in Hums, having exhausted all their own 
means of persecution, had recourse to the Moslems of the baser 
sort, telling them that these Protestants are Free Masons or wor- 
shippers of the sun, who deny the existence of God, hoping thus 
to stir up violence against them. Mr. Jerawan went and re- 
mained for years as their leader and guide, and was at length 
ordained as their pastor, and in 1872, Rev. Yusef Bedr succeeded 
him. In writing to Dr. Anderson of these new accessions in 
Syria, I urged him not to expect too much from them. " The 
almond trees, now in full bloom, are loaded down with their 
mantles of snow-white blossoms, yet their fruit may be so small 
as hardly to repay the gathering. Yet, however we may be disap- 
pointed in human appearances, we know that the Lord's promises 
are not always almond blossoms." 

The rehabiUtation of the refugees from Damascus, Hasbeiya, 
Rasheiya, and other places, proceeded slowly. Not one Druse 
had been executed, and the people feared to return to their 
ruined homes and confront the murderers of their friends. 
Lebanon was more secure under a Christian ruler, Daud Pasha. 

The Druse leaders, in order to educate their boys, set apart 
some of their " wukf " revenues and opened a boarding-school in 
Abeih, calling it the Davidic School, from Daud Pasha, and he 
was present early in February at its formal opening on Sunday. 
The attractive feature of Abeih was the existence of the Abeih 
Seminary of Mr. Calhoun, a man held in profound reverence by 
the entire Druse nation. And the first principal of this Druse 
school was a former pupil and teacher of Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Asaad 

Syria was now outwardly quiet. But nothing can give it 
permanent quiet but the prevalence of the pure Gospel of Jesus 

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The Hairs of Mohammed's Beard 245 

Christ which is a religion of righteousness and peace. The great 
bane of Syria is the multitude and virulence of the conflicting 
sects. There can be no true peace until these hostile elements 
are reconciled, and nothing can reconcile them but a common 
faith in Jesus Christ Mohammedanism has ceased for the pres- 
ent to be aggressive. Romanism, with its creature worship, can 
never appeal to Mohammedans. A pure Gospel can conquer both. 
On March 20, 1862, the city of Beirut received from the Sultan 
" three hairs from the beard of the Prophet Mohammed," to be 
placed in one of the mosques. The military was called out and 
marched with music and banners to escort the wonderful and 
sacred gift of the Sultan, while crowds of long-robed Moslems 
and filthy dervishes and sheikhs joined the procession which bore 
the holy relics to the Great Mosque. The whole Moslem popu- 
lation was excited, and the baser sort uttered threats against the 
infidels, etc., but Ahmed Pasha kept the town in quiet. Some 
thought that Abdul Aziz sent it at this time, in order to coun- 
teract the rapidly increasing European and Christian influence in 
Beirut which is leaving the Moslems in the minority. Another 
more likely explanation is, that it is to effect a compromise be- 
tween the Egyptian and the land route of the holy Hajj or pil- 
grimage to Mecca. The Egyptians wish the Hajj to go via the 
Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The interior towns wish it to 
go via Aleppo, Damascus, and down east of the Jordan to 
Mecca. This raises Beirut to high religious rank, and as Damas- 
cus is « Bab el Kaaba " (or " Gate of the Kaaba "), so Beirut is the 
port of the Kaaba, and it became necessary to give it the needed 
sanctity by sending three holy hairs of the Prophet's beard. The 
effect on the Beirut Moslems was various. Some ridiculed them 
as spurious. Others insisted that the use of any relics of any 
kind is forbidden in the Koran, and say, << Are we to imitate the 
Christians in creature worship?" In 1890 two hairs from the 
same beard were sent to a mosque in Tripoli and received by the 
populace with frantic demonstrations bordering on idolatry. So 
Moslems as well as Maronites and Greeks hold to the veneration 
of the hairy teeth, and bones of their saints. 

Digitized by 


246 Further Growth 

The people of Hasbeiya were notified on returning to their 
homes that indemnity would be paid them for their losses, but no 
Christian testimony would be received as to the amount of the 
losses. They bring Moslem or Druse witnesses. As the leading 
Moslems of the Shehabs had been killed, and the Druses were the 
very persons who had massacred the Christians and sacked the 
town, the case was simply exasperating. The Druses knew that 
they would have to pay whatever was assessed, so they swore 
down the Christian losses to the lowest possible figure. It is 
hardly credible that Fuad Pasha could have known of this iniqui- 
tous procedure. But who could blame the Turks when the 
European Powers looked on in silence and suffered such things 
to be done I 

On the 29th our boys' day-school was examined and the 
son of the sherif of Mecca was present and after listening 
with much interest, expressed his satisfaction with the work of 
the pupils. Dr. Robson wrote from Damascus that the Algerian 
body-guard of the Emir Abd el Kadir in Damascus has been re- 
duced to a handful, and the emir says, " Damascus is like a fire 
in the desert smothered with sand. A blast of wind may kindle 
the flames again." 

April 5th — ^A letter came from Mr. Calhoun, dated Alexan- 
dretta, March 31st, telling of the murder of Rev. Mr. Cofling. 
Mr. Calhoun was on his way to the annual meeting of the Aintab 
Mission, Mrs. Coffing and Dr. Goodell of Constantinople were in 
Antioch, and on reaching there, he received the sad news. 
Mr. Morgan and he set out at once, reaching Alexandretta after 
sunset March 26th, finding Mr. Cofling already dead. Mr. Coff- 
ing left Adana, Monday, March 24th, intending to reach Alex- 
andretta Friday evening. The first part of the way he had a 
government guard of three men, but dismissed two and came on 
with his servant, the muleteers, and a single guard. Within three 
miles of Alexandretta, robbers in ambush in the jungle fired on 
the party. Two balls struck his left arm, shattering the bone 
and severing the large artery. The servant had a ball through 
his lungs and a chance native traveller had his arm broken. 

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Murder of Mr. Coffing 247 

Mr. Coffing was brought to Alexandretta that night to the United 
States vice-consul, Mr. Levi, and died at five o'clock the next 
morning. The servant died after four dajrs of suffering. It was 
supposed to be the work of fanatical men from Hadjin, whence 
Mr. Coffing had been driven last summer, who had threatened 
his life. 

On the 6th of April, the French admiral took the American 
consul of Beirut on his flag-ship, the coxy ttXt Mogadare, to Alex- 
andretta to investigate the facts as to Mr. Coffing's murder. This 
act of courtesy was highly appreciated by all Americans in Syria. 
Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Goodell went immediately on to Aleppo and 
Aintab to the annual meeting. It was afterwards learned that the 
murderers were two Moslems from a village above Alexandretta. 
They had confessed the crime. The villagers for a time defied 
the government. The two murderers were arrested May 2 1st 
and one escaped And in September, one named Ahmed was 
executed in Adana in the presence of five thousand spectators. 
He was beheaded and the Turkish executioner was seven minutes 
hewing off his head with a huge dull knife. Ahmed confessed 
the crime and said he was instigated by none but the devil. 

The statistics of the Beirut church at this time showed thirty- 
seven members, a Sunday-school of one hundred and fifty, and a 
native missionary society of one hundred and seventy-five mem- 
bers, with weekly offerings of seven dollars and a half. I had a 
weekly singing-class of three hundred and fifty children. We 
had two boys' day-schools with ninety pupils, a girls' school of 
seventy, and a dozen boarders in tlie girls' boarding-school. 
Miss Mason opened her school in Sidon. Miss Temple sailed 
for America to enter one of the " united " states. 

On Tuesday, May 6th, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, ac- 
companied by Dean Stanley, entered Beirut and received an ova- 
tion unparallelled in Syria. The Damascus Road for three miles 
was lined by tens of thousands of Beirutians and Lebanon moun- 
taineers, and he entered the city with the thundering of cannon 
firing a royal salute, amid the shouts of the multitude. After re- 
ceiving and returning official visits, he visited the British Syrian 

Digitized by 


248 Further Growth 

Schools of Mrs. Bowen Thompson, and I had the honour to con- 
duct him through them, and explain their origin in caring for the 
widows and orphans of the massacres of i860. He expressed 
himself as much pleased with the school, and all present were de- 
lighted with the mild and modest demeanour of the Prince. In 
Damascus, Rev. S. Robson, who was in the midst of the massacre, 
conducted His Royal Highness through the ruins of the Christian 
quarter and narrated to him the story of those days of horror and 

My son William (now stationed at Zahleh) was born April 
26t}i, while Dr. Goodell was here, and Dr. Goodell remarked, 
<' It will be' no more remarkable should this child become a 
missionary and preach in the Mosque of St Sophia, in Stam- 
boul, than it was when we were born, that we should come to this 
land and live to see what we now see in Beirut." At this writing, 
in 1908, that infant is the Rev. William Jessup, of Zahleh, Syria, 
who has a devoted wife and four daughters, and is labouring 
faithfully for the people of Lebanon and the Bookaa. He has not 
yet preached in the Mosque of St. Sophia, which is a church 
turned into a mosque, but he and his colleagues in Turkey are 
doing what they can to preach the Gospel to people of all the 
Oriental sects. 

When in Beirut, Dean Stanley called on Rev. Dr. Van Dyck 
to inquire with regard to the translation of the Bible into the 
Arabic language. Dr. Van Dyck showed him the New Testa- 
ment which was completed in April, i860, and told him that the 
Old Testament was finished as far as Job and considerable work 
done on the prophetical books. 

Between Hebron and Mar Saba, in that howling wilderness, 
the party of the Prince was surrounded by a body of armed 
Bedawin Arabs. The Turkish guard made no resistance. The 
Arabs demanded the surrender of a certain Turkish officer they 
supposed to be in the party. On finding that he was not there 
they demanded money. The dragoman then said to them, " Do 
you not know that this man is the son of the Great Queen of the 
Angliz ? " " Oh," said they, '' is that so ? then minshan Khatroo 

Digitized by 


Prince Albert Edward's Escape 249 

(for his sake or pleasure) we will let you off/' and thus the future 
king escaped through the condescending permission of these 
barelegged robbers of the desert. They could have carried him 
off to the trans-Jordanic wilderness, in spite of the ridiculous 
guard sent by the Pasha of Jerusalem, but they allowed him to 

We took a step forward this month by requiring pay from the 
pupils of our day-schools. This was the first demand for pay- 
ment in a mission school and the people have accepted the situ- 
ation. It is a step in the right direction and there will be no 

May 13th we were visited by Rev. and Mrs. H. Guinness. I 
bought a bay horse of Mrs. Guinness for ^38.80. He was strong, 
a good trotter, but a hard backed animal. I once loaned him to 
Dr. Van Dyck for a trip to Suk el Gharb. On his return. Dr. 
Van Dyck said, '• Brother Jessup, I would like to buy half of that 
horse." " Why ? " said I. " I would like to buy one-half of him 
and shoot my half." His hard trot, like a four-post bedstead, 
thump, thump, was most painful to the doctor with his distract- 
ing headaches, and he thought the horse ought to be abated. 

Violent persecutions broke out against the Protestants all over 
the Lebanon and in Hums. In Lebanon, Daud Pasha proved a 
pliant tool in the hands of the priests, and Colonel Frazier, British 
commissioner, declared his utter disappointment in the narrow- 
minded, illiberal course of the pasha, who yielded slavish obe- 
dience to the priests. French influence was predominant, and 
the Jesuits were given a free hand in Lebanon, because it was 
the policy of Napoleon to support the papacy. As England, 
through the policy of Lord John Russell, had shielded the Druses 
from punishment, the nominal Christians of Syria, notwithstand- 
ing the munificent charitable aid of the English people, hated the 
Angliz, and as Protestants were known by the name Angliz, they 
were persecuted by the bishops and priests of the old sects in the 
most relentless manner. At B'teddin-el-Luksh, where the Mar- 
onite peasants had been ruined by the Druses and their houses 
burned, a large body who became Protestants were in turn driven 

Digitized by 


250 Further Growth 

from their newly built homes by the pitiless fury of the monks 
and priests. Daud Pasha, anxious to please France, gave full 
liberty to the priests to root out Protestantism. G>lonel Frazier, 
disgusted and chagrined at finding himself unsustained by the 
Foreign Office in his attempts to secure religious freedom in Leb- 
anon, declared his intention to resign and to labour for the 
removal of Daud Pasha. Two American young men, Rev. J. 
Hough, a classmate in Cortland Academy, and Carter, a brother 
of my Yale classmate, visited me in Beirut and went on through 
the Holy Land. While bathing in the Jordan, Carter was drawn 
under and swept away by the muddy current and his body after 
four days' search could not be recovered. Hough went on home 
in great sadness. 

The withdrawal of troops for Montenegro led to an increase of 
murder and outrage, which the pasha checked by hanging two 
Moslem murderers in Damascus and a Druse murderer in Hasbeiya. 
And per contra^ a Greek Catholic, who murdered a Druse near 
Deir d Komr, was hung at B'teddin, in the palace of Daiid Pasha. 
News came of the murder of Rev. Mr. Merriam of Philippopolis 
by brigands. The English residents sent us a telegram forwarded 
from Alexandria, that '' General McClellan had surrendered his 
whole army to Lee." As my brother Samuel was in McQellan's 
army, the news filled us with great anxiety although we did not 
credit it for a moment. We found all the British residents on 
the side of the South, and it became very difficult to have any 
intercourse with them. It was a great relief afterwards to find 
that the rumour^was false and it was an equal relief to learn that 
my brother was safe and was about to resign and prepare for 

In July the vowelled edition of the Arabic New Testament was 
issued from the press, marking an era in Bible work in Syria. Hith- 
erto it had been printed without the vowels, so that non-Moham- 
medan children have found it very difficult to learn the Arabic 
correctly. Now the Christian schools can be supplied with this 
beautiful book, and learn to pronounce the Arabic language as 
correctly as the proud Moslems who boast of their Koran. 

Digitized by 


A Children's Hymn-Book 251 

The last act of the Anglo-American and German Relief Com- 
mittee was performed August nth. Sixty thousand piastres 
were voted for the relief of Hasbeiya widows and orphans in 
Sidon and Tyre, twelve thousand for medical aid in Damascus, ten 
thousand for needy cases in Lebanon, the surplus to be devoted 
to keeping up the Beirut hospital until the next January. 

In the summer of 1862, 1 had the joy of seeing a children's 
hymn-book published at our Beirut Press, ** Douzan el ICithar '* 
{'* Tuning of the Harp "). I wrote my musical friend, Dn 
Charles S. Robinson of New York, who had aided me in bearing 
the expenses, as follows : " It has sometimes been a question 
with me whether the Arab race is capable of learning to sing 
Western music well. (This is partially due to the one-third in- 
tervals between the whole notes as against our one-half intervals.) 
The native music of the East is so monotonous and minor in its 
melody (harmony is unknown), so unlike the sacred melodies of 
Christian lands, that it appeared to me at one time that the 
Arabs could not learn to sing our tunes. It is difficult for the 
adults to sing correctly. They sing with the spirit, but not with 
the understanding, when using our Western tunes. But the 
children can sing anything, and carry the soprano and alto in 
duets with great success. All that is needed is patient instruc- 
tion. I have had more real enjoyment in hearing the children 
sing in Syria than in ahnost any other thing in the missionary 
life. They sing in school, in the street, at home, in the Sabbath- 
school, in public worship, and at the missionary society meetings. 
There is a tide and a power in children's singing which carries 
onward the older people and not only drowns out the discords 
and harshness of older voices, but actually sweeps away prejudice 
and discordant feeling from older hearts." Sacred music has 
achieved great triumphs in Syria since those days. Thousands 
of copies of our hymn and tune books have been sold ; the teach- 
ers of boarding-schools for boys and girls have trained their 
pupils to sing; pianos have become quite common; and the 
Oriental taste is becoming gradually inclined to European mu- 
sical standards. 

Digitized by 


252 Further Growth 

In Mohammedan mosques and Oriental Churches, a woman's 
voice is never heard, and when the voices of women and girls 
were first heard in the Protestant Churches, many of the old 
conservatives declared they would not allow it But that day 
has passed, and the women and girls now sing with both the 
spirit and the understanding also. I have often asked whether 
the idea of harmony in music is natural to the European or a 
matter of cultivation. It was not known in the early centuries 
but since its introduction it has become universal. In Asia it is 
still a stranger. The Arab scale, founded on an ancient Greek 
scale, gives nothing but melody, and that with intervals im- 
possible 'to all European instruments but the violin. But educa- 
tion and cultivation are developing a genuine musical taste in 
the rising generation in Syria which is already bearing remark- 
able fruit. A Syrian teacher in Beirut and his wife had both 
been trained to sing Western tunes. Their second son in early 
years developed a passion for music, taught himself to play the 
piano, borrowed of Mrs. Jessup bound volumes of music of 
Mozart, Beethoven, Handel, and Mendelssohn and played them 
at sight. He then composed an oratorio with an orchestral ac- 
companiment which was performed by the Anglo-American 
chorus in Beirut. With the aid of friends, he went to Paris, 
studied, supported himself by playing at evening meetings of 
the McCall Mission and the Y. M. C. A., entered the Con- 
servatoire, achieved great success, and is now organist of the 
largest French Evangelical Church in Paris. His sister is 
organist of the Syrian Evangelical Church in Beirut. He is a 
modest young man of exemplary character. . 

Another Syrian boy, who was blind, went to London with 
letters of introduction to the director of the Upper Norwood 
Musical Institute for the Blind, made good progress, and is now 
piano tuner to a large music house in London. He excelled 
both in vocal and in instrumental music. 

In September, 1862, Colonel Frazier, British high commissioner 
to Syria, resigned and left the country, universally esteemed. 
He had saved the country more than one outbreak of violence^ 

Digitized by 


A Change of Enlistment 253 

and was a man of stern and sterling integrity. His health was 
impaired by his incessant labour. 

On the 23d of September word came that brother Samuel 
had resigned his office as army chaplain after the battle of 
Malvern Hills, and would at once prepare for sailing to Syria. 
We were overjoyed and thanked God that the Board had the 
courage, in the midst of the dreadful war for the Union, to send 
out new labourers into the great harvest field. The apprehension 
of privateers on the high seas led us to write him to come on 
an English steamer to Liverpool and thence by steam via 
Gibraltar and Alexandria to Beirut. 

The Board hesitated long before indulging in the expense of 
sending out a missionary by steam, and actually engaged his 
passage on a clipper bark, but rumours of danger on the sea 
compelled him to come by steamer. He was the first Mediter- 
ranean missionary to sail from America by steamer. 

In October a Maronite student, Selim Toweel, in Abeih 
Seminary, passed through a remarkable experience. He entered 
the school a devout Maronite^ full of suspicion of Protestantism, 
and had never had a Bible in his hands. In a few weeks he 
began to think and inquire, and for several successive nights had 
trances, which excited greatly all the teachers and pupils. He 
was heard talking aloud after midnight. There was a dim light 
in his room and the students sprang up and came to his bed. He 
was sitting upright, his eyes wide open, but he did not notice 
them. Mr. Calhoun was called, and Selim went on with his 
preaching. He seemed to be addressing Maronite priests and 
monks and preaching free salvation in Christ After waiting for 
their reply, he said, << You have now found Christ, pass on, the 
next." Then he preached to another and another imaginary 
convert, telling of his own spiritual change and experience and 
joy in his Saviour, the great change he had met, to the amaze- 
ment of his fellow students, who stood listening and who tried 
in vain to rouse him from his trance. His language was eloquent 
and profoundly spiritual, but the next morning he had not the 
slightest recollection of what had occurred. After that day he 

Digitized by 


254 Further Growth 

was a consistent praying Christian, surprising all by the pro- 
foundness and clearness of his spiritual views, and was full of 
zeal for the salvation of his fellow countrymen. 

In the latter part of 1862, the policy of Daud Pasha of 
Lebanon became more liberal. He appointed an Englishman 
chief of police and a Syrian Protestant, Mr. Naameh Tabet, to a 
secretaryship. From this time onward, Protestantism in Lebanon 
was at rest from the open assault of the ecclesiastics. Mr. Hanna 
Shekkoor was made kadi of the Protestant sect in Lebanon. 
The pasha issued peremptory orders for the construction of 
cemeteries in all the towns of Lebanon. Up to that time burials 
had taken place in plots adjoining the churches in the villages 
and, on each new interment, the bones, of those previously buried 
were thrown out upon the surface to be exposed and trodden 
upon, and in every village skulls and bones were visible in the 
little burial places. The pasha forbade burying twice in the same 

On December 26th I addressed one hundred and twenty 
children at the Christmas festival of Mrs. Bowen Thompson's 
schools, and the same day over a hundred Arab orphan girls at 
the Prussian Deaconesses' Orphan House. As Mr. Hurter was 
absent, I had all the secular work ; press accounts^ post-office, 
purchasing, customs house, shipping and receiving goods, besides 
Arabic preaching. Mr. Bliss had gone to America but Mr. Bird 
had returned to Lebanon and we had the cheering news that 
brother Samuel Jessup was on his way to Syria and Mr. W. W. 
Eddy would return in the spring, and thus our ranks be full 
again. At the close of 1862, the mission had six stations: 
Beirut, Abeih, Suk el Gharb, Sidon and Hasbeiya, Hums, Tripoli, 
and two outstations. There were nine missionaries. Dr. Thomson* 
Dr. Van Dyck, Mr. H. H. Jessup, Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Bird, Mr. 
Ford, Mr. Lyons (Mr. Bliss and Mr. Eddy in the United States), 
and Mr. Hurter, printer; five native preachers and sixteen 
teachers. Petitions for schools poured in from all parts of the 
land. The Sunday-school and Bible classes were full of interest. 
The pocket edition of the New Testament of five thousand copies 

Digitized by 


The Nusairiyeh 255 

was speedily exhausted and one thousand two hundred and thirty 
four copies of the other edition sold. A number of copies of the 
uncompleted Old Testament translation were subscribed for, the 
sheets being taken as they issued from the press. There were 
new zeal and interest in the native churches and the outlook was 
more encouraging than ever before. 


In November, 1862, a rough and repulsive-looking man came 
to my house in Beit el Jebaili in Beirut, bringing an Arabic letter 
of introduction from the famous Dr. Meshaka of Damascus. He 
was short of stature, had a low forehead, projecting chin and 
negroid lips, ruddy countenance, and altogether as repulsive a 
man as I have ever met in the East. I opened and read the let- 
ter. Dr. Meshaka stated that the bearer was a convert to Chris- 
tianity from the mystic Nusairi faith ; that he was a man of learn- 
ing and wide reading, and that Dr. Meshaka had obtained his re- 
lease from the military conscription on the ground of his being a 
Christian, — that he had been arrested in Adana as a renegade 
from the draft, and was now coming to Beirut to enjoy liberty of 
conscience and of worship. 

I bade him welcome and .found him a room to lodge in, and 
was not long in discovering that my guest was truly an extraordi- 
nary character. I had travelled among the semi-pagan Nusairiyeh 
of Northern Syria and met some of them, and heard much of 
their secret rites, initiations and passwords, but this was the first 
time I had met at close range an authorized expounder of that 
weird system of truly diabolical mysteries. Day by day he told 
me his life's story. He was born in Antioch, a Nusairi, about 
1834, and when a child seven years old, removed to Adana near 
Tarsus. He was taught by a sheikh to read and write, and on 
reaching the age of 8eveflteeii» was initiated into the mysteries. 
Thk initiation extended over nine months. An assembly of 
notables of the Nusairis of Adana was convened and he was sum- 
moned before them, and a cup of wine was given him. Then 
the leader stood by him and said to him, " Say thou, by the mys- 

Digitized by 


256 Further Growth 

tery of thy beneficence, O my uncle and lord, thou crown of my 
head, I am thy pupil, and let thy sandal lie upon my head." The 
servant then placed the sandal of the leader on his head, and the 
leader began to pray over him that he might receive the mystery. 
He was then enjoined secrecy and all dispersed. After forty 
days another assembly was convened, another cup of wine drunk, 
and he was directed to say : ** In the faith of the mysteiy of 
Ain Mim Sin {Ain stands for Ali, or the archetypal Deity, the 
Maana ; Mim for Mohammed, or the expressed Deity, the Ism ; 
and Sin for Salman al Farsi, or the communicator, the Bab) and 
he was charged by the imam to repeat the cabalistic word 
A. M. S. five hundred times a day. As before, secrecy was now 
enjoined, and the so-called '' King's Adoption " was accomplished. 

After seven months more, he was called to another assembly, 
where, after numerous questions and imprecations he was asked, 
" Wilt thou suffer the cutting off of thy head and hands and feet, 
and not disclose this august mystery ? " He answered, ** Yes." 
Twelve sponsors then rose, and the imam then asked them, ** In 
case he discloses this mystery, will ye bring him to me that we 
may cut him to pieces and drink his blood ? " They answered, 

Then he swore three times that he would not disclose the mys- 
tery of A. M. S. and the imam said, " Know, O my child, that 
the earth will not sufTer thee to be buried in it, shouldst thou dis- 
close this mystery, and thy return to earth will not be in a human 
form (in the transmigration), but to a degrading form of beast, 
from which there will be no deliverance for thee forever." 

They then put a veil over his head, the sponsors placed their 
hands on his head and offered three long prayers, then gave him 
a cup of wine. The dignitary then took him to his house and 
taught him sixteen formulas of prayer in which divine honours 
are paid to Ali. 

Being naturally of a shrewd and inquisitive mind, he devoted 
himself to the study of that faith (which none but the initiated 
can understand), learned the worship of the sun and moon and 
adopted the horrible and gross superstitions of the sect They 

Digitized by 


Transmigration 157 

hold to the transmigration of souls, that the souls of all men at 
death pass into new bodies, and that unbelievers are at death 
transformed into some one of the lower animals. They believe 
that the spirits of Moslem sheikhs at death take the bodily form 
of asses ; that Christian doctors enter swine bodies ; that Jewish 
rabbis take the form of male apes ; that wicked Nusairis enter 
into domestic animals; great sceptics among them into apes, 
while persons of mixed character enter bodies of men of other 

They simulate all sects, as do the Druses, and on meeting Mos- 
lems swear to them that they likewise fast and pray. But on en- 
tering a mosque they mutter curses against Abu Bekr, Omar, 
and Othman and others. They say, ** We are the body, all other 
sects are clothing : but whatever clothing a man may put on, it 
does not injure him, and one who does not simulate is a fool, for 
no reasonable man will go naked in the market-place." So they 
are Christians with the Christians, Jews with the Jews, and all 
things, literally, to all men. 

They have secret signs, questions and answers by which they 
recognize each other. For example, one says on meeting a 
stranger, " Four, two fours, three and two, and as many more 
twice over in thy religion, what place have they ? " Answer : 
*' In the Journeying Chapter," etc. They use signs, and they 
use the interlacing triangle. In their secret worship they partake 
of bread and wine. They have borrowed from the Bible, the 
Koran, and from Persian and Sabian mysticism. They teach 
that out of man's sins God created devils and Satans, and out of 
the sins of those devils He made women, and hence no woman is 
taught their reh'gion. When the initiated meet for prayer to 
Ali, guards are placed to keep the women at a distance. Their 
most binding oath is to swear by the faith of the covenant of 
Ali, prince of believers, and by the covenant of '* Ain Mim Sin." 
Soleyman bribed one of the chiefs of the *• Northerner " sect of 
Nusairis to tell him the ** hidden mystery," which proved to be 
that the heavens are the impersonation of Ali Ibn Abu Talib : 
the wine-coloured river in heaven is Mohammed; and the milk* 

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2^8 Further Growth 

white river is Salman al Farsi ; that when we are purified from 
earthly grossness, our spirits will be elevated to become stars in 
the Milky Way, etc. 

But the more he read and thought of his religion, the more he 
doubted its divine authority. One of the tenets of the faith is 
that on the death of a Nusairi a planet descends and takes up the 
soul of the departed which becomes a new star in " derub et tib- 
ban," i.e., the Milky Way. Several times when holy sheikhs 
were dying, he stationed himself outside the door and watched 
the hole over the door which is left in every house as an exit to 
departing souls, and saw no planet descend and no star ascend. 
This shook his faith, and on going about Adana, he b^an to ex- 
amine the other religions. He decided that there must be a bet- 
ter religion than the pagan Nusairi absurdities, and went to a 
Moslem sheikh as a seeker after Islam. They read together the 
Koran and the sheikh explained. He was a Mohammedan 
about a month, when, as he said, he found in the Koran " three 
hundred lies and seventy great lies," so that he was unwilling to 
remain longer a Moslem. He then studied the books of the 
Greek Orthodox Church, turned Greek and was baptized by a 
merchant of Adana. Entering on this new faith, he frequented 
the church and was horrified to find that though professing to 
worship the true God, the Greeks actually worshipped pictures, 
the holy " ikons." Attending the mass, it was explained to him 
that the priest blessed the wafer or bread, whereupon it was 
transformed into the perfect humanity and divinity of Christ. 
«What," said he, "does it become God?" "Yes, certainly." 
" And then what do you do with it ? " " We eat it." " Does the 
priest eat it?" "Yes." "What I Make a god and then eat 
their god?" This was too much. He said he had read in an 
old Arabic version of Robinson Crusoe about men eating one 
another, but here were people eating their god I 

Finding Christianity to be of such a nature as this, and know- 
ing of no better form of it, he decided to become a Jew, as the 
Jews read the Old Testament in the original Hebrew, and all 
sects acknowledge the Old Testament (the " Tourah ") as true. 

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Sampling Religions 259 

For four years he continued a professed Jew, and learned to read 
the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Talmud. He was at 
first greatly troubled lest God could not admit a heathen among 
His chosen people; but says he was quite relieved when he read 
that Ruth and Rahab, both heathen women, were among the 
progenitors of David. Two things led him at length to leave the 
Jewish faith, viz., the absurdities and blasphemies of the Talmud, 
in which he read that God Himself studies in the Talmud three 
hours every day; and also the prophecies regarding the coming 
of Christ He then decided to become a Christian again, hoping 
to do so without adopting picture worship and transubstantia- 
tion. As he was baptized before by a layman, he now applied 
to a priest, but found no special difference, as he was obliged to 
worship pictures again, and, as he said, to eat his God. He 
could not remain a Greek; he had tried Paganis^i, Judaism and 
Islamism in vain, and now began to look for something else. 

The Greeks had told him of the "religion of the Angliz'' 
(Protestants) and that they were an heretical sect, who denied the 
Resurrection ; and he wrote a tract against their heresy, bringing 
proofs from Scripture for the doctrine of the Resurrection. A 
Greek from Beirut, living in Adana, told him that there were 
learned Greeks in Beirut who could convince him of the truth of 
transubstantiation, and the propriety of picture worship. While 
visiting this man he saw a book lying on the table, which he 
took up and began to read. It was a copy of the famous work 
on the papacy, in Arabic, by Dr. Michaiel Meshaka of Damas- 
cus. He was so absorbed in the book that the Greek, who had 
bought it for his own use against the Catholics and not to make 
Protestants, became alarmed and took it from him. He then 
went out determined to get it for himself, and finally found Rev. 
Mr. Coffing, American missionary, and Adadoor, the native 
helper, whom he had regarded before as Sadducees, and obtained 
the book. He was delighted. Here was Christianity which 
neither enjoined picture worship nor taught transubstantiation. 
He became a Protestant at once and wrote a letter to Dr. Me- 
shaka in Damascus, thanking him for having written such a 

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26o Further Growth 

work. The Mohammedans and Nusairiyeh were now leagued 
against him» took away his wife and child and property. He was 
thrown /into prison and two Moslem sheikhs came and tried to 
induce him to become again a Moslem or Nusairi. They 
pictured before him the sensual delights of Paradise^ but he re* 
plied that they were welcome to his share of their Paradise; he 
was rooted in the religion of Christ and would not leave it 
While in prison a Nusairi sheikh said to hi , '* You have laid 
up a great store of merit by your devotion and learning and now 
it will all be lost, unless you will sell it to me." " Done/' said 
Soleyman, " I will sell it." He finally sold out all his religious 
merit for four piastres, or sixteen cents I 

He remained in prison twenty-one days, and then was sent as a 
conscript to enter the Turkish army in Damascus. While in 
prison he wrote several prayers, which he read to me, in which he 
pleads that God who rescued Joseph and David and Daniel and 
the three Hebrew youths, would rescue him from prison a.nd from 
the hands of his enemies. Though illegally arrested, being a 
Christian and not liable to conscription, his hands were put in 
wooden stocks and he was marched by land all the way to 
Damascus, some 600 miles. 

On the way to Damascus he stopped at Nebk, where he found 
Protestants, and requested them to write to Dr. Meshaka in 
Damascus, to use his efforts for his release, after he reached that 
city. After a month's search. Dr. Meshaka found him in a loath- 
some prison. Though his fellow conscripts declared that he was 
a Christian, the Turkish military authorities refused to release him, 
until, providentially. Colonel Frazier, the British commissioner 
to Syria, visiting Damascus, heard of the case and procured his 
release. He remained a month with Dr. Meshaka, and came to 
Beirut in November, 1862, bringing a note of introduction from 
Dr. Meshaka. He said he was anxious to labour for the conver- 
sion of the Nusairiyeh people who are in gross darkness and 
ignorance. I gave him a room near my house and had frequent 
interviews with him. He soon made the acquaintance of Dr. 
Van Dyck and of the Syrian Protestants, and we encouraged 

Digitized by 


A Queer Pledge 261 

him to write a book, describing the tenets and mysteries of the 
Nusairi religion. His memory was remarkable. He could re- 
peat whole chapters of the Koran, and from the Arabic and 
Hebrew Scriptures, and he had at ready command the poetry, 
history and strange mystic teachings of the Nusairiyeh. In a 
few weeks he had finished his book. He then went, on invita- 
tion of the Rev. R. J. D6dds of the Reformed Presbyterian Mis- 
sion, to Latakia, Northern Syria, where he remained six months, 
and then returned to Beirut and printed the tract at his own ex- 
pense. While staying with me, he came in one day with flushed 
face and breath redolent of strong drink. I asked him if he had 
been drinking. He said yes, he was used to it. (In the Incense 
Mass described in his book, wine is spoken of as " Abd-en-Noor,'' 
or *« servant of light," and wine is an image of Ali, who is revered 
as God. No wonder that the Nusairis are noted for drunkenness, 
which places them on a far lower plane than the Moslems.) I 
then said to him, '' My friend, we Protestants do not drink 
liquor, and if you drink again, I cannot allow you to enter my 
house." He said, <' Give me a paper." I gave him a sheet and 
he wrote on it and handed it back to me. I read it ** I, Soley- 
man of Adana, do hereby pledge myself never to drink a drop of 
liquor again, and if I do, my blood is forfeited, and I hereby 
authorize Rev. H. Jessup to cut off my head, and drink my 
blood." I told him that was rather strong language, but I hoped 
he would keep his pledge. Alas, he did not, and as I never had 
any other sword but the ** sword of the Spirit," his head remained 
on his shoulders, even after his often relapses. 

His book attracted wide attention. The Syrians bought and 
read it eagerly and copies were sent into the Nusairi districts 
where it made a sensation. A council was called. The young 
sheikhs were clamorous for sending a man at once to Beirut to 
kill him. The old foxy sheikhs, however, were wiser. Thej 
said, <' We have a right to kill him, but if we do, the world will 
say he was killed for revealing our secrets, and all will know his 
book is true. But let us deny the truth of the book, declare it a 
false invention, and let him alone and men will soon cease to 

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262 Further Growth 

talk of it" So they let him alone, at least for the time 

We sent a copy of the printed work to Prof. E. Salisbury, 
Professor of Arabic in Yale College. There could be no better 
proof of Professor Salisbury's fine Arabic scholarship than his lucid 
and accurate translation of this mass of Oriental mystical twaddle. 
Professor Salisbury read his translation of it with notes before the 
American Oriental Society, May i8th and October 27, 1864, and 
it was published in their Journal, Vol. VIII, No. 2, 1865. I can- 
not give even a resume of the peculiar features of this strange 
faith. It was founded by Mohammed Bin Nusair, whose third 
successor was Al Husain al Khusaibi, their greatest author and 
teacher. He taught that the Messiah was Adam, Enos and all 
the patriarchs; also Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, 
Job, St George, Alexander and Mohammed ; also Plato, Galen, 
Socrates, Nero ; also Ardeshir and Sapor. He calls Abu Bekr, 
Omar and Othman (the three first successors or caliphs of 
Mohammed) incarnations of Satan. In this he adopts the Shiah 
or Persian hatred of Orthodox Islam and deification of Ali. 

The feasts of the Nusairi include the Udhiyah or Moslem 
Feast of Sacrifice and other Moslem feasts ; Christmas, New 
Year, Palm Sunday, Pentecost and the Feast of John Chrysostom. 

In the mass of Al Ashara, Ali is adored as God, and the 
Nusairis seem to know no other God. 

« Praise be to Ali, the light of men, to Ali the lord of glory, 
to Ali the seed burster, to Ali the creator of the breath of life, 
to Ali the fountain of wisdom, the key of mercy, the lamp in 
darkness, — ^the worker of miracles, whose love is unfailing, lord 
of the last and first of time, the render of rocks, the cause of 
causes, the elevator of the heavens, the originator of time, the 
veiled mystery, the knower of secret thoughts, the omnipotent 
sovereign, who was Abel and Seth, Joshua and Simon Peter. 
To this archetypal Deity we give glory, reverence, landings, 
magnifyings, extoUings and ascriptions of greatness. This is the 
adoration of our inmost souls, in simple confidence in Ali, the 
mysterious, the iincompounded, the indivisible, whom no number 

Digitized by 


Action and Reaction 263 

comprises, who is neither conditioned nor finite, to whom periods 
and ages bring no change ; to whom, to the magnificence of the 
glory of whose awfulness, and the greatness of the splendour of 
the lightning of whose divinity^ — ^to whom all necks bow, and all 
obstacles and difficulties give way." 

It seems almost incredible that Soleyman could have known by 
heart all these extraordinary disjointed writings which combine 
the ridiculous with the sublime, and the aesthetic and beautiful 
with the horrible and revolting — for some of the passages are too 
indecent for translation. Yet he wrote from memory and his 
quotations tally exactly with other reports of their secret teachings. 

After remaining some months in Beirut, he returned to 
Latakia. In March, 1863, Rev. R. J. Dodds wrote to me: 
*' Soleyman is setting the mountains on fire. He assails with his 
arguments every fellah who enters the schoolhouse, and is send- 
ing out letters in all directions. It is with difficulty that we re- 
strain him from going out among the villages. He often attacks 
the fellahin whom he meets on the street, but we restrain him as 
much as possible from this open-air preaching. There is a screw 
loose in his head somewhere, but I think that he is doing much 

As he could neither teach nor preach and knew no handicraft, 
the matter of his livelihood became a problem. At length he 
married the daughter of a Greek priest, and not long after returned 
to his drinking habits. Years after, he revisited Adana, his birth- 
place. The Nusairi sheikhs now used the greatest finesse in 
gaining his confidence in order to destroy him. They called upon 
him, complimented him as the sun of learning, the crown of 
wisdom, the boast and glory of their sect. They consulted him 
and lauded him in Adana and all the villages of the plain. Then 
the leaders invited him to feasts, and sent gaily caparisoned 
horses to bear him from village to village, until he was completely 
off his guard and in their power. Then one day he was invited 
to a village feast Mounted on a spirited horse and escorted by 
young men who sang and fired their guns as a token of honour 
and joy, he was just entering the village, on a path among the 

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264 Further Growth 

immense manure heaps which are allowed to accumulate around 
many of the Oriental villages^ when suddenly he was dragged 
from the horse and thrown into a deep grave» dug in a dunghill, 
and buried alive ! Some days after, the body was exhumed, the 
tongue cut out and preserved in a jar of spirits. In May, 1888, 
when I was in Adana, a Syrian teacher told me the Nusairi vil- 
lagers informed him that at their evening gatherings the sheikhs 
would place this ghastly and gruesome relic on the table, and 
pour upon it their weird imprecations, cursing it and him and 
consigning him to the torments of the danmed I 

1863 — My brother Samuel and his wife arrived January 24th, on 
the steamer Atlantic^ in a rough sea, after lying off the coast for 
twenty-four hours through stress of weather, as shore boats could 
not venture out to the offing. When they anchored, the ship was 
rolling fearfully, and I went out through the breakers, and after 
many perilous approaches to the ladder, got them all aboard the 
boat and safely to land and to my house. Our cup of joy seemed 
full. It is not often that a foreign missionary can welcome a be- 
loved brother as a fellow labourer. I wrote to my father on his 
arrival, ** I cannot express the joy and gratitude I feel this morn- 
ing in welcoming dear Samuel and Annie to our Syrian home. 
We can only give praise and glory to God/' He was stationed 
in Sidon, as Mr. Lyons' failing health required a return to the 
United States. 

Said Pasha of Egypt died, aged forty-one years, and he was 
succeeded by Ismail Pasha (second son of the famous Ibrahim 
Pasha) who was in his thirty-first year. He was superior in many 
respects to Said. The Emir Abd el Kadir of Damascus, on his 
way to Mecca, was entertained by M. de Lesseps that he might 
influence the new pasha in favour of the completion of the Suez 
Canal. Said, as one of his last acts, prepared to send 1,000 
Sudanese black troops to aid the French in Mexico, but through 
the protest of the European consuls, the project was abandoned. 
Port Said received its name from him, as Ismailiyeh did from 
Ismail Pasha. The three murderers of Rev. Mr. Merriam of 

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The Bloody Well 265 

Adrianople were executed in that city January 5th, and a salutary 
impression has been made on the surrounding population. 

Three earthen jars, containing 3,000 gold coins of Philip and 
Alexander^ have just been dug up in Sidon. The government 
seized the bulk of them, but many found their way into private 
hands. I saw at a Beirut jeweler's a necklace being made for the 
pasha's wife, with twenty-five of these antiques, each weighing as 
much as two English sovereigns. 

In Damascus a Christian was rebuilding his house in the ruined 
district, when he found his well filled with the dead bodies of 
seventy-two men who were killed in July, i860. They were in a 
remarkable state of preservation and the sight must have been 
similar to that at the Bloody Well of Cawnpore. When the pro- 
cession went out to bury them, the Christians were insulted by 
Moslem hoodlums. 

The first telegraphic despatch went through from Beirut to 
Constantinople February i, 1863. The Moslems were filled with 
wonder and say it is a pity that Mohammed did not know it, as, 
had he known of it, all the world would have gone after him. 
Nor was Beirut unworthy of being ushered into the society of 
Europe. In 1823 it had 6,000 population ; in 1840, 10,000; in 
1856, 22,000, and in 1863, 70,000. Seven lines of European 
steamers touched at Beirut and the streets of Beirut were being 
widened and macadamized to allow the carriages of the French 
Damascus Road Company to pass. 

A terrific storm raged along the Syrian coast February 20th, 
and the range of Lebanon from the summit, 9,000 feet high, to 
the very seashore, was one white mass of snow. In Tripoli and 
Sidon a little snow pyramid crowned every orange and lemon in 
the gardens. The French sXtdxa^t Jourdan was driven on shore 
in Beirut and broken in two, but the passengers were all safely 
landed by a line thrown from the shore. 

I made a tour to Tripoli with my brother, and we received 
several earnest petitions from villages for schools and teachers. 
In Beino, a good brother, Weheby Aatiyeh, was seized by the 
people and taken out with hammer, nails and ropes to crucify him. 

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266 Further Growth 

He made no resistance but said, " Oh» happy day ! Oh, blessed 
hour I for the Lord has given me grace not to deny His name in 
the midst of severe temptation and in the face of death. I am 
not worthy to die. for Christ Thus they did to Stephen and thus 
they did to my Lord. I am not afraid to die.*' Just then an 
influential Protestant from Halbe rode up and persuaded the ex- 
cited people to desist, and Weheby was set free. Many of his 
relatives have embraced the Gospel and one of them has become 
distinguished as a preacher and author. 

On Sunday, February 15th, in the midst of the Arabic service, 
a deputation of thirty men from Rasheiyat el Wady entered the 
Beirut chapel. They were of the Jacobite Catholic Church. They 
had come to beg for a school and a teacher. Their priests had 
rotfeed them of a great part of the indemnity paid by die govern- 
ment, and they were so incensed against the priests that they re- 
solved to abandon them and embrace a purer faith. They went 
away with Arabic Scriptures, and thp missionaries of the Irish 
Presbyterian Mission in Damascus sent them a teacher. It was 
recorded as a remarkable fact at this time that the people had be- 
gun to buy the Arabic Scriptures. Heretofore they had refused 
to purchase, insisting on receiving them gratis. But since that 
time, excepting in rare instances, the Arabic Scriptures have t)een 
paid for by the people. 

In March, the native missionary society held its anniversary 
and reported receipts of 10,000 piastres, or IL^OO. Many of the 
members were poor widows and orphans, who gave cheerfully out 
of their deep poverty. The mission was greatly embarrassed by 
the flood of petitions for schools which poured in from every 
quarter. Mr. Bliss reported from America good progress in rais- 
ing an endowment fund of ^100,000 for the college. 

On Easter, 1863, Daud Pasha held a reception for the notables 
of Lebanon and made them an address. In it he used the follow- 
ing illustration : " A doctor fell sick, and called in a fellow physi- 
cian and said to him, * We are three, you, I, and the disease. 
If you will help me, we will conquer the disease. If you help the 
disease you will conquer me.' So we in Lebanon are three ; you^ 

Digitized by 




"5) ^ 

<tj ^ W fe 

H S 5 •« 

/-\ ri! "H 

O es 

•4j •CJ 

<; ♦J o 

•-I ^ o 

g- i 

en « c^ 

B ^ 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Religious Liberty? 267 

the people, I, the ruler, and the traditional animosity of races in 
Lebanon. Help me and we shall conquer it Help it, and you 
will ruin me and yourselves together." This was a pithy and just 
way of stating the case. And nothing but popular education 
will do away with these racial hatreds. The Druse High School 
in Abeih, taught by Mr. Shidoody, a scholarly Protestant, and 
supported by the sacred " wukf " funds of the sect, will go far 
towards levelling down the feudal begs and sheikhs, and 
levelling up the Druse peasants. And the fact that the two 
sons of the late Said Beg Jumblatt, the wealthiest nobles in 
Lebanon, are being trained by Rev. S. Robson, an Irish Presby- 
terian missionary, at the expense of the British government, is a 
guarantee that the future of the Druses will be under a pacific 

The Sultan Abdul Aziz visited Egypt in April and conferred 
decorations on the head men of the Christian and Jewish com- 
munities. He was attended by Fuad Pasha and his brother's son. 
Notice had been sent that he would visit Beirut and the house of 
Moohyeh ed din Effendi Beihum was prepared to receive him, but 
changed his plans and failed to come. After the Sultan's de- 
parture, a young Mohammedan professor, a graduate of the Kosr 
el Ain Medical School in Cairo and in government employ, be- 
came convinced of the truth of Christianity and wrote an article 
for a French journal attacking the Koran and the religion of 
Islam. The article was reprinted in the French journal of Alex- 
andria and the young man was arrested, tried in haste, and con- 
demned to banishment to the Sudan, which in those days meant 
that he would be taken up the river, tied up in a bag, and thrown 
in the Nile. The matter was brought before the foreign consuls 
and his release secured. The article may have been needlessly 
acrimonious, and all writers on Islam in the empire need great 
wisdom in treating so perilous a subject. England demands re- 
ligious liberty in the empire. The Sultan agrees to it, but the 
local authorities do not admit that this means the right of a Mos- 
lem to apostatize. They say it means the right of every man to 
remain unmolested in his original sect, and yet they not only 

Digitized by 


268 Further Growth 

allow Christians and Jews to become Moslems without let or 
hindrance, but reward them with honours and office and freedom 
from military service. The Turks have learned intolerance 
largely from Russia, which insists that all Russia must conform 
to the Greek Church. So, they say, we demand that Islam shall 
be the favoured sect in the empire. 

In April I made a seventeen days' tour to Tripoli and Hums^ 
finding open doors and loud calls for missionary instruction 
everywhere. The people were overjoyed at the expected arrival 
of Dr. Post for that field. One merchant in Hums had bought 
one hundred Testaments in Beirut and had them on sale in his 
shop. One hour south of Tripoli, at Kolamoon, I found splendid 
specimens of fossil Pectens and Echini of large size, which I put 
into my mule load for Beirut. 

In May Dr. Van Dyck, having finished the translation of the 
Psalms, took a much-needed sea voyage on an English steamer 
to Liverpool and was gone two months. Dr. Riggs, of Con- 
stantinople, visited Beirut on his return from a health trip to 
Egypt, for the sake of his daughter. In those days there were 
no first-class hotels in Cairo, and in none of them a stove or a 
fireplace, and Dr. Riggs said that they had suffered more from 
cold than they would have done in New York, that it was a poor 
place for invalids. 

June 1 2th — Rev. J. L. Lyons and family left for America. 
For six years he had struggled bravely with racking headaches 
and weak eyes and finally consented reluctantly to take a fur- 
lough. He went to his wife's home in South Berwick, Maine, 
where he lay helpless in bed for several years. The doctors 
could find no organic disease. The connection between will and 
muscle seemed severed. He could not raise his hand nor stand 
alone. At length his brother, Theodore, in Montrose, Pa., some 
four hundred miles distant, resolved to make a heroic efTort to 
rally him. He went to South Berwick, arranged with Mrs. Lyons 
at evening to pack his brother's trunk and get his clothing ready 
for a journey. He did not see his brother till morning. In due 
time a carriage was at the door, the trunk put aboard, and Theo- 

Digitized by 


An Awakened Will 269 

dore went to his brother's room. '* LorenzOi what are you doing 
here ? Get right up, we are going to Montrose." 

He replied faintly, '* I cannot I cannot stand or walk." 

** No matter, get right up." 

Then he took him out of bed and stood him on his feet 
** Dress yourself at once, no time to be lost, we must catch the 

He obeyed. The dormant will was wakened. He dressed, 
walked with his brother down the stone steps to the carriage and 
on they went to Boston and New York. Every hour he grew 
stronger, until he reached his mother's home, to the astonishment 
of the whole community. He recovered fully and laboured as 
agent of the American Bible Society in Florida, Georgia, and 
Tennessee for many years, his home being in Jacksonville, 
Florida, where he lived until his death, March 14, 1888. He 
wrote me that he travelled over the mountains and often preached 
five times a week. We were boys together although he was 
eight years my senior. His daughter, Mary, returned to Syria in 
1877 ^^d taught in the Sidon Seminary three years when ill health 
obliged her to return to America. 

June 25th — Rev. W. W. Eddy and family returned to Syria 
and were stationed in Sidon« This enabled the mission to trans- 
fer Rev. Samuel Jessup to Tripoli where he was joined by 
Rev. George E. Post, M. D., in November. In October, Rev. and 
Mrs. Philip Berry reached S)rria, located in Sidon, and returned 
to America in exactly two years, owing to a breakdown in 

July 9th — ^A Metawileh Moslem was hung in Sidon for the 
murder of an Austrian Jew near Tiberias, the first time, it is said, 
that a Moslem has been executed for killing a Jew. The Sultan, 
Abdul Aziz, contrary to precedent and prejudice, has had his 
photograph taken in Constantinople. The dervishes and fanatics 
will protest but they are impotent to prevent it 

News came of an earthquake in Rhodes destroying thirty vil- 
lages, killing five hundred and maiming thousands. The seaport 
city was nearly destroyed The shock was felt slightly in Beirut 

Digitized by 


270 Further Growth 

The Okkals, or religious initiated class of the Druses, have 
tried to break up the new Druse high school in Abeih on the 
ground of misappropriation of "wukf" property, but as the 
school is named for Daiid Pasha *' El Madriset ed Daudiyet/' he 
will not allow it to be interfered with. A fire recently destroyed 
the ancient palace of the Sultan Selim in Constantinople, one of 
the finest structures in the empire. The grand vizier, Fuad Pasha, 
nearly lost his life in trying to rescue the fair inmates of the 
hareem. He made his escape through a window just before the 
roof fell in. The Pasha of Adana, in trying to arrest the second 
murderer of Mr. Coflling, attacked his village, when the Moslem 
villagers fired and killed several troops and the murderer escaped. 

September 8th — The American bark Fredonia, Captain Birk, 
arrived in Beirut from Boston flying the British flag, through 
fear of rebel privateers. 

At this time Mrs. Watson, an English lady, used the fund given 
her by the London committee in opening a boys' school in the 
house of Mr. Bistany of Beirut She had thirty boys. Mr. 
Bistany took charge and the school soon developed into the 
"Wataniyet" which continued for several years with two 
hundred pupils, and was subsidized for a time by the college 
local committee to prepare boys for the college. Mr. Bistany was 
a man of remarkable ability and industry. He aided Dr. Eli 
Smith in the Bible translation, conducted the school, published 
an Arabic grammar, two large Arabic dictionaries, and nine 
volumes of an Arabic encyclopedia, besides editing a weekly 
paper, the Jenneh and a monthly magazine, the Jenan. He 
was an elder in the Beirut church for thirty years and taught a 
Bible class for twenty years, and was the most influential 
Protestant in Syria. He was also dragoman of the American 
consulate in Beirut for many years. He died in May, 1893, 
greatly lamented, aged sixty-four years. 

One hundred and fifty of the exiled Druses returned to 
Lebanon, and some of them signalized their return by attacking 
two French Jesuit padres en route from Zahleh to Deir el Komr. 
They robbed and stripped them naked and cut ofT one ear from 

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The Roving Englishman 271 

each of them. Daud Pasha at once arrested the culprits and 
they were condemned to long imprisonment. 

Daud Pasha had a difficult role. He had not only to reckon 
with the animosities of the old feudal sheikhs and peasantry, but 
to circumvent the intrigues and secret schemes of the Philo- 
Russian Greeks, the Philo-French Maronites, the Philo-English 
Druses, and the Philo-Turk Moslems. Lebanon is easy to 
govern if left to itself. The great peril after the initial trial of 
the new order of government by Daud Pasha was not from 
Zahleh or Deir el Komr, but from Paris and St. Petersburg. 

The Pasha of Damascus recently tried to enforce the military 
conscription among the Druses and Bedawin of Hauran. The 
result was the decimation of the troops sent to enforce it. Some 
one asked a veteran missionary how he thought missions would 
succeed among the Bedawin Arabs. He replied, " That would 
depend to a great extent upon how fast a horse he rode," mean- 
ing that the Bedawin live in the saddle and any one to reach and 
teach them must turn Bedawy and follow them into the desert. 

"The Roving Englishman" has just roved through Syria 
en route for Bagdad and Bussorah to aid in the laying of the 
India telegraph. He is a character of some note and was known 
as " Percival the Detective" or, the " Secret Service Man." He 
has been in the East for years, disguised now as a Bedawy 
sheikh, now as a black Moslem slave, and now wearing the uni- 
form of a British officer, and mingling with all classes of society, 
speaking Arabic, English, or French, as suits the occasion, play- 
ing the ''hail fellow well met" with Moslem kavasses of the 
various consuls in the khans and coffee-houses, ferreting out the 
secrets of consular gossip, ascertaining how consuls are liked, and 
whether they are faithful and honest and pay their debts, and 
learning everything in general and particular about. everybody 
and then writing it home to some mysterious persons in some 
mysterious way, having confidential access to the Palmerstonian 
or Lord Russellian ear. He met me, called me by name, and 
said, " How are you ? " 

I replied, " I beg your pardon, you have the advantage of me." 

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272 Further Growth 

" Yes/' said he, " don't you remember once having a call from 
a black Moslem slave m\h white turban and flowing robes, and 
that he addressed you in English, and you complimented him on 
having acquired the language so thoroughly? I am the man. I 
am now a British officer and understand pretty well all that is 
going on in the empire." He was felt to be a dangerous man, a 
very chameleon, and especially feared by consuls, to whom it 
was not the most comforting reflection that « a chiel's amang ye 
taking notes, and faith he'll print them.*' 

Two Syrian brethren of the Hums Church made an eight days' 
missionary tour among the pagan Nusairiyeh and the entire ex- 
pense of the trip was two dollars. They walked and had a lame 
donkey to carry their books. That church has been noted for 
forty years since that time, for just such voluntary labours for 
their countrymen and the fruit is seen in the little churches 
growing up in all simplicity and faith throughout that region. 
They wanted a foreign missionary, but have always had native 
pastors with occasional visits from missionaries. 

At the close of the year 1863, there were in the mission ten 
missionaries and nine native preachers, three churches, and one 
hundred and twenty-eight members. At the press, 6,869,000 
pages were printed. There were twenty-four common schoob 
with nine hundred and twenty-five pupils. In Abeih Seminary 
there were twenty-two pupils and four theological students. 
Within eight years, thirteen missionaries, male and female, have 
entered the Syrian field, and twenty-five have left it 

Rev. Geo. E. Post and Mrs. Post arrived November 28th, and 
proceeded immediately to Tripoli where they remained four years. 
He made remarkable progress in the Arabic language. In 1867 
he visited America on account of health and was called to the 
professorship of surgery in the Syrian Protestant College. He 
has been distinguished as the greatest surgeon and botanist in 
the East, and as an Arabic preacher. He is the author of books 
on surgery, zoology, an Arabic concordance and Bible diction- 
ary, and an English Flora of Syria and Palestine. **MAil 
Uti^et quod non omavit** 

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Canon Tristram 273 

It was at this time that I first made the acquaintance of Rev. 
H. B. Tristram (Canon of Durham Cathedral). He came to 
Palestine on a scientific tour, bringing with him a body of young 
men, a geologist, a botanist, an ornithologist, zoologist, photog- 
rapher, and taxidermist He was himself familiar with all these 
sciences and after about five months of work east of the Jordan 
and in Anti-Lebanon and Lebanon, came to Beirut. I was able to 
give him valuable specimens, and as he had discovered at the 
Dog River bluff on the floor of an ancient cavern a fine deposit 
of bone breccia, I undertook to excavate it. I did so, and 
shipped to him half a ton of fine specimens of breccia, bones, 
flint, and teeth, some of which I afterwards saw in the British 
Museum. The acquaintance then begun continued until his 
death in 1905. 

Xenophon, in his account of the Retreat of the Ten Thousand, 
says that when in Colchis, within two days of Trebizond, a strange 
accident happened. The soldiers, finding an abundance of bee- 
hives and honey and eating the same, were seized with violent 
vomiting and fluxes attended with delirious fits. ''The earth 
was strewn with their bodies as after a defeat ; however none of 
them died and the distemper ceased the next day." Last week, 
a small sailing vessel reached Beirut from Asia Minor bringing a 
large quantity of honey in skin bottles. It was sold so cheaply 
that multitudes of people bought it and took it home. That 
night there was a running after doctors such as has not often been 
seen. All who ate the honey were seized with vomiting blood, 
and bloody discharges from the bowels. At first the cause was 
not known, but by daylight the next day it was traced to the 
honey, and the pasha seized and destroyed all the Cilician honey 
in the market. All who ate of it recovered, though greatly weak- 
ened. The origin of the poison in the honey is the flowers of 
the poppy and wild oleander on which the bees feed. Why it 
does not poison the bees is a question for the naturalists. 

Aghil Agha of the Ghor below Beisan, on whom Dr. Thomson 
and I called in February, 1857, visited Beirut at this time with a 
vast retinue of mounted Bedawin warriors, armed with spears and 

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274 Further Growth 

swords, muskets and pistols. He came to pay his respects to the 
pasha but had the air of a sultan. He is now at peace with the 
Turks and the Jordan valley is quiet 

On December 30, 1863, a meeting was held at the house of 
Dr. Van Dyck in Beirut, attended by Dr. Van Dyck and Messrs. 
Ford, H. H. Jessup and Hurter of the American Mission, Rev. S. 
Robson of Damascus, James Black, Esq., British merchant of 
Beirut, and J. A. Johnson, Esq., United States consul The by- 
laws forwarded by Rev. D. Stuart Dodge for the Syrian Protestant 
College were discussed and approved. In our reply, we insisted 
on the evangelical character of the college and that every pro- 
fessor must be an evangelical Christian. The creed, or doc- 
trinal basis of the Evangelical Alliance was adopted as the stand- 
ard to which every professor should subscribe, and continued as 
such Until the year 1902, when, although it continued as the 
basis of belief, no one was obliged thereafter to subscribe to it. 

Towards the end of the year, several of the oldest and most 
prominent members of the Beirut church were in an unfortunate 
quarrel, not even speaking to one another. Argument and per- 
suasion seemed of no avail. At length we appointed a day of 
fasting and prayer. A meeting was held which was very solemn. 
I then made personal visits to all parties concerned, and at nine 
o'clock at night, in a pouring rain, went with my lantern to the 
house of two of them to go with me to the third, the oldest of 
all, and after prayer there was a melting and a falling on each 
others' necks, and asking pardon, and our hearts were filled with 
praise and gratitude. It was a fitting close to the year and a 
preparation for new joys and trials, both of which soon followed 

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Obstacles to Success 

1864-1866 — CoDversions slow — ^Mrs. Jessup's death— A sonowfiil 
furlough— Cholera epidemic — ^A new church building. 

AT the opening of 1864, Dr. Thomson was in Egypt en 
route to Sinaii engaged in Biblical researches, accom- 
panied by Dr. E. R. Beadle (of Hartford and Philadel- 
phia and formerly a missionary in Syria), and Rev. Arthur 

January 3d six adults were received to the Beirut church, one 
of them a daughter of Shaheen Barakat, the elder of the church 
in Hasbeiya who was killed in the massacre while praying for 
his enemies. The Sunday-school and Bible classes were well 
attended and there were seven hundred and fifty children in 
Protestant schools in Beirut and about two thousand in all SyrisLt 
not including Palestine. 

January ilth I wrote to Rev. Dr. Joel Parker, who had just 
removed to Newark, N. J. In the letter I said, " I feel more and 
more that whatever else we may do as ministers of the everlasting 
Gospel, our work is vain, if we never hear the inquiry, ' What 
shall I do to be saved ? ' and although the missionary work in 
Syria is by no means a failure, yet I often long for a few weeks 
or months in some church at home where God is pouring out 
His Spirit in great power. Thus far in Syria, conversions have 
occurred in isolated cases, here and there an individual coming 
out on the Lord's side, but we have not yet seen a general re- 
vival, enkindling all hearts and giving such a foretaste of heaven 
on earth as j^ou have often witnessed during your long ministry, 
and such as, I pray, you may often witness again. We have 
just received six persons in our church. Some of the casey were 
deeply interesting, evincing a deep spiritual experience such as is 


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276 Obstacles to Success 

not often met with in this land Dr. Van Dyck has proceeded 
with the Old Testament translation to Isaiah 30th, and 6,369,000 
pages have been printed during the year; 12419 books were 
issued from the press, of which 6,142 were Testaments and parts 
of Scripture. A great impulse has been given to education. 
Mr. Bistany, a Protestant Syrian, has a boarding-school of 117 
paying pupils. A few years since, the people could hardly be 
hired to send their children to school. Now they are willing to 
pay eighty dollars a year for their boys and forty for girls, in 
Protestant schools." 

In my diary of this year I noted : '' An intelligent French 
gentleman, who was present at the marriage of the Nile and the 
Red Sea at Suez, has just told us of that historical event, when 
the sweet waters of the Nile were let loose on the briny waves 
at a point where fresh running water was never known before in 
the history of man. If M. de Lesseps has achieved no other 
success than supplying Suez with fresh water, he would be 
worthy of lasting honour." Up to that time all the fresh water 
used at Suez had been transported by rail from the Nile, a most 
difficult and expensive undertaking. The ceremony of joining 
the sweet and bitter waters in wedlock was one of not a little 
excitement. A crowd of invited guests, European gentlemen 
and ladies from Cairo and Alexandria, had assembled to witness 
the memorable event The water was to be let through from the 
canal to the sea by the hands of fair ladies, and to trickle down 
in a gentle rivulet for the entertainment of the spectators, while 
eloquence and music were to commemorate the august event 
But no sooner had the decorated spade removed the first little 
barrier of earth, than the crumbling sand of the embankment 
melted away and the turbid tide swept through with such violence, 
that the distinguished guests only escaped sharing the fate of 
Pharaoh's army by a general stampede. The reddish, muddy 
water of the Nile then flowed forth unchecked, staining the 
greenish water of the sea for several miles and giving it reason 
for once, if never before, for having the title of the " Red Sea." 

On the 20th of January my son Henry Wynans was bom ; and 

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Google i 

A Jewish Mission 277 

with one daughter and two sons, my cup of joy seemed full. 
Months passed on. On April 3d brother Samuel baptized little 
Harry at a Sunday evening meeting at our house, at which Drs. 
Thomson and Van Dyck. were present, also Dr. Norman 
McLeod, Rev. Donald McLeod, Mr. Alexander Strahan, the 
publisher, and a large company of friends. These eminent men 
proposed to us the establishment of a Jewish mission and Eng- 
lish chaplaincy in Beirut, under the auspices of the Church of 
Scotland, their missionary to occupy the pulpit of the American 
Church at 1 1 A. u. The first missionary was Rev. J. Robert- 
son, D. D., afterwards Professor of Semitic languages in Glasgow 
University, who laboured for thirteen years until 1877. He 
opened schools for Jewish boys and girls, and preached most ac- 
ceptably during this period. At first he confined his labours to 
Jewish children, but on our suspension of the day-school for boys, 
he opened his school to all sects, and this school has continued to 
this day. In 1880 Rev. George M. Mackie, D.D., took up the 
work and still continues the beloved pastor of the Anglo-American 
Congregation and active in every good work. He has instructed 
hundreds of Jewish children and has a hold upon their confidence 
and affection which shows the advantage of continuity in the 
missionary work. Dr. McLeod's remarks on Numbers 14:21, 
** As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of 
the Lord," made a profound impression upon my mind. The 
divine voice of bright promise speaking out in that darkest hour 
of Israel's history gave me a new vision of the glory of Christ's 

During those spring months we had visits from many Christian 
tourists, among whom were Dr. Arthur Mitchell, Dr. Beadle and 
a second visit from Canon Tristram, also Dr. Geo. W. Wood and 
Mr. Gross, a remarkably promising young missionary from Adana, 
who after only a few months was cut down by a malignant fever. 
My time was taken up with Arabic preaching, visiting, and the 
custom-house business of the mission. Messrs. Calhoun and 
Hurter left for England and America on May 31st. On the 13th 
of June I went to Suk el Gharb and engaged a house for the 

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278 Obstacles to Success 

summer. Mrs. Jessup was now attacked with a severe nervous 
afTection which did not yield to medical treatment, and on the 
2ist Dr. Van Dyck decided that a sea voyage was necessary for 
her recovery. Brother Samuel and his wife came on from 
Tripoli and aided in the needed preparations, and on the 30th we 
sailed for Liverpool on the English merchant steamer Isis, ta^ 
king only Anna and William, as Harry's nurse refused to go, and 
he was left an infant in the loving care of his Aunt Annie. 

That night of embarkation was one of peril. The weather was 
intensely hot The steamer had gone to Juneh Bay, twelve 
miles up the coast, to take on fifteen hundred sheep, and as it 
would not return to Beirut roadstead until ten o'clock p. m., Cap- 
tain Horsefall agreed to signal with rockets on leaving Junelu 
We saw the rockets and walked down half a mile to the landing, 
porters carrying the sick one on an iron travelling bedstead. In 
those days there were no carriages available. We reached the 
landing in pitch darkness, having one small lantern, brother 
Samuel and Dr. Thomson being with us. I was nearly exhausted 
from want of sleep and the great heat. We wound sheets over 
the bedstead, securing it to the boat, Dr. Thomson being with me; 
Samuel was in another boat with the two children. The steamer 
was far oUt and had not anchored. We went up alongside the 
stairs, and Samuel with the boatman carried the little ones up to 
the cabin, walking over the backs of a dense mass of sheep 
which covered the deck from stem to stern. The captain's boat 
lay alongside and he gave orders to transfer the bedstead to his 
boat and then it would be drawn up to the davits and we could 
easily lift it on the deck. We had just removed it from the shore 
boat when the screw began to back water, and as we were close 
to the stern, the boiling, foaming waves around us rocking the 
boat, nearly threw us all into the awful roaring waters. We 
shouted ourselves hoarse in calling to the sailors on deck to haul 
away on the davit pulleys and just then they hauled on the ropes 
attached to the bow of the boat, and it began to rise until it was 
almost on end. Dr. Thomson and I grasped the sides of the boat 
and the bedstead, and it seemed as if we should all be pitched 

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Death of Mrs. Jessup 279 

down into the water, when providentially, some one saw the mis- 
take, and the other end was raised and we finally reached the 
deck. How the bed reached the saloon over the crouching, 
bleating mass of sheep I do not know. I fell back and fainted 
from sheer exhaustion. The sick one was placed in a hammock 
in the ladies' cabin, and soon the steamer started on its way. 
Seasickness, the horrible filth of the decks occasioned by the 
sheep, and a very rough head wind made the run to Alexandria 
most trying. In forty-four hours we reached the port of 
Alexandria, Friday evening. On Saturday, July 2d, Drs. McKay 
and Ogilvie came on board and declared the case of the patient 
very serious, and at 2 p. m. she fell asleep in Christ. The funeral 
service was conducted the next morning, Sunday, at 7 o'clock by 
Rev. Andrew Watson, of the American United Presbyterian 
Mission. The burial was in the English cemetery. Dr. Watson 
kindly invited us to his house. After full consideration, I decided 
to reembark on the Isis^ with the two children, for Liverpool and 
Samuel returned, July 6th, to Beirut. I sailed on the /th, and 
after eighteen days reached Liverpool July 25th, where I was 
welcomed by that dear brother, Mr. Hurter, who had preceded me. 

While in Alexandria, I met the Maharajah Duleep Singh with 
his Christian wife. He was rejoicing in his honeymoon. The 
son of one of the richest princes of India, he was living in honour- 
able exile in England on a princely stipend, and had long since 
embraced the Christian faith. He told me that he could not 
marry an Indian princess, as she would be a heathen, nor an 
English princess, as her tastes would be so different from his own, 
but he had found in the mission school in Cairo a maiden who 
was of mixed English and Abyssinian blood, a cultivated Chris- 
tian girl, having both the Eastern and Western characteristics. 
Out of gratitude for this wife of his choice, he for years sent an 
annual gift of ;f 1,000 to the American Mission in Egypt. 

On July 27th I sailed from Liverpool with the two children and 
Mr. Hurter on the City of London for New York. The voyage 
was cold and rough. On the 3d of August we saw nine icebergs 
and the sea was full of floating ice. In the distress of seasickness 

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28o Obstacles to Success 

and tlie chilling air, I kept my room the most of the way, and 
Mr. Hurter, in the kindness of his heart, cared for the two chil- 
dren. We reached New York August 8th. 

The past months looked like a dream. The sudden break- 
ing up of my home and the scattering of my children had come 
upon me as a fearful shock. What did the Lord mean by send- 
ing me home ? I was not long in discerning His hand and His 
providential guidance. The Beirut School for Girls was as the 
apple of my eye. I felt that the future of Syria depended on 
the education of its girls and women. Our school had started, 
but it had no building and already had to turn away applicants 
for want of room. Yet the Board of Missions declined to erect a 
building and we saw no way to raise the needed funds. When it 
was decided that I go to America, the mission gave me a vote 
approving the raising in America of a sum of ten tiiousand 
dollars for a building. Could it be done ? In September and 
October I visited New York and Philadelphia and laid the 
subject before a few friends of missions. The American Board 
gave me their sanction on condition that it should not interfere 
with their regular income. Mr. William A. Booth and Mr. 
William E. Dodge of New York were my advisers and they both 
subscribed liberally. Matthias W. Baldwin, John A. Brown, and 
Jay Cooke of Philadelphia did the same. I went from city 
to city and from one man to another until in the middle of 
November the greater part of the sum was raised, and I went 
back to my Syrian home with a thankful heart, leaving the dear 
daughter and son with loving friends, William with his grand- 
parents and Anna with her Aunt Mary Chandler. Few children 
separated from parental care have been more wisely and tenderly 
trained than were these three little ones, and they have all proved 
to be faithful followers of their Lord and Master. During that 
visit of thirteen weeks the Lord used me in not only insuring 
the erection of the Beirut Girls' Boarding-School but in awaken- 
ing wide interest in missions and in the support of the school. 
Early in October I attended the meeting of the American Board 
in Worcester and had to speak five times. Mr. A. Yanni, our 

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Yanni's Gift for United States Soldiers 281 

zealous brother ia Tripoli, Syria, had sent by me two boxes of 
cones of the cedars of Lebanon, sea-shells, and other Syrian 
curios, to be sold for the benefit of the wounded Union soldiers 
in the hospitals. A number of young men and women in the 
church in Worcester took charge of the sale, and handed me 
at its dose one hundred and eighty dollars. My old college 
friend and my brother's classmate, E. P. Smith, was then active 
in the Christian Commission and for this sum bought seven 
hundred and twenty Testaments for the boys in blue. It was a 
very gratifying incident, and filled Mr. Yanni's heart with joy. 

On the 26th of November I sailed on the City of London for 
Liverpool, reaching London December 8th, where I took lodg- 
ings in the same house with Dr. Bliss and family. He was en- 
gaged in raising funds for the Beirut College, the endowment of 
;^ 100,000 having been already raised in America. While waiting 
in London to make connection with the Marseilles steamer, I 
visited Canon Tristram at Greatham, Stockton on Tees, and 
spent a week with his delightful family. He had a wonderful 
collection of shells, birds, and birds' nests. He was an authority 
on botany and ornithology and we had many tastes in common. 
He took me to Hartlepool where we saw fast steamers being 
built to run the blockade to Charleston to bring out cotton. Dr. 
Tristram was, like most Englishmen, in sympathy with the 
Souths but before I left he admitted that he had modified his 
views. His ten children, all under thirteen years of age, were 
a delight to me and they showed me through the two almshouses, 
** for twelve old fathers and twelve old mothers," all over sixty 
years of age, describing the peculiar characteristics of each. 
Father William was pointed out as " greedy " and always want- 
ing the biggest piece of everything. 

On Sunday Dr. Tristram drove me six miles to Norton where 
he preached a charity sermon for Rev. Clements. After service 
we went into the rectory and the sisters of Mr. Clements brought 
in a tray with decanters and glasses with two kinds of wine. 
They were amazed at my declining wine, and said they had 
never before seen a person who drank only water. Returning 

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282 Obstacles to Success 

to London, I had a brief visit with Dr. and Mrs. Btiss. Dr. Bliss 
had many opportunities to address public meetings in London. 
He once addressed the anniversary of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society in Exeter Hall. Lord Shaftesbury presided. A 
Church of England clergyman, with that spirit of fawning to the 
aristocracy which is so common in English public meetings, 
said, ** I congratulate the Bible Society in being honoured by 
your Lordship's presence as chairman," etc., etc. Dr. Bliss followed 
and said, '* Your' Lordship, I do not congratulate the Bible 
Society in having your Lordship as chairman but I do congrat- 
ulate you on being allowed to preside at a meeting held to 
promote the distribution of the Word of God." At the dose 
Lord Shaftesbury took Dr. Bliss by the hand and said, ** It was 
refreshing to hear from you such a sensible remark. I am sick 
of this constant flattery." 

1865 — I landed at Beirut January nth. I was welcomed 
to the hospitable home of Dr. Van Dyck where I remained a 
month. I then set up housekeeping with my cook Assaf 
Haddad and his wife Margarita in the house of Amaturi near 
the Damascus Road. Assaf continued to be my cook ever since 
until October, 1908, and is a grandfather. 

January 17th the annual meeting of the mission was held. 
Nine missionaries were present, among them Rev. J. E. Ford. 
Rev. Mr. Williams of Mardin had requested us to send Mr. and 
Mrs. Ford to reinforce that station, but in view of the needs of 
the mission and the health of Mrs. Ford, it was decided that 
Mr. Ford and family visit the United States, and they sailed 
June 30th with Miss Mason, whose school in Sidon had given 
such excellent satisfaction. 

The translation and printing of the Old Testament having 
been completed March loth, it was voted that Dr. Van Dyck 
be authorized to go to New York and superintend the electro- 
typing of the Arabic Scriptures. The celebration on March loth 
is noticed in the chapter on Bible Translation. On March 12th 
we had a public service in commemoration of the completion 

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Arrival of Samuel Hallock 283 

of the translation of the Bible, and addresses were made by 
Rev. J. Robertson, Mr. B. Bistany, and Rev. D. Stuart Dodge. 
Dr. Van Dyck and family sailed June 3d, and he remained in 
New York until October 20, 1867, when he returned, having 
accomplished successfully his great work. He brought with 
him Mr. Samuel Hallock, electrotyper, who was a son of Mr. 
Roman Hallock, the ingenious American who made the first 
punches and matrices for the Beirut font of Arabic type. In 
June, 1865, we broke ground for the new girls' school building in 
Beirut, the new edifice including the old press building, so long 
known as " Buij Bird." 

In July cholera appeared in Egypt and there were five hundred 
deaths a day in Cairo. It was brought to Beirut by the refugees 
and the city fell into a frightful panic. Not less than twenty 
thousand people left the city in a week. I saw them surging by 
my house, the " Im Beshara " house on Assur, old and young, 
mounted and walking, faces pale with fright, and all this before 
there had been a single case in Beirut ; but after a few days the 
disease broke out I removed to this house June 2d and had 
Mr. Calhoun as my first guest. In March we had a visit from 
Rev. Frank F. Ellinwood and Mr. Ailing, of Rochester, and on 
the 20th I went to Damascus with them and Rev. D. Stuart 
Dodge. Four days later, at 4 a. m., Mr. Dodge and I walked the 
whole length of Damascus from Mr. Crawford's house to the 
Diligence Station, fighting our way against almost innumerable 
colonies of dogs. Mr. Dodge and the servant carried the bag- 
gage and the lantern, and I was armed with stones with which I 
kept at bay the ferocious barking ** curs of low degree " as we 
went through the little doors in the numerous gates which divided 
one quarter of the city from another. 

The old chapel in the " Buij Bird " in Beirut was at this time 
enlarged, owing to the growing congregation. 

Early in April, Sir Henry Bulwer, H. B. M. Ambassador to 
Constantinople, visited Beirut. It was understood that he was 
on his way to Egypt to interfere in some way with the com- 
pletion of the Suez Canal, or at least to prevent its becoming a 

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284 Obstacles to Success 

French affair. Several months before, two Moslems in Damascus 
who had professed Christianity had been imprisoned in the Great 
Mosque, and another was imprisoned in Beirut in February with 
chains about his neck. The case was laid before the British 
consuls in Damascus and Beirut and they said they could do 
nothing as they would not be supported by the British embassy 
in Constantinople. 

On February 13th I wrote a private letter to Dr. Daniel Bliss 
in London as follows: <<Two Mohammedans have become 
Christians in Damascus and one of them has been brought to 
Beirut in chains, and is now confined in the barracks here, ex- 
posed to insult and suffering. Chains are on his neck and he will 
probably be speedily put out of the way. We shall do what we 
can, but the Turks have all read in the Arabic newspapers an ac- 
count of the conduct of Sir Henry Bulwer in Constantinople, and 
they care absolutely nothing for European protest against such 
baibarous persecution. We can pray for this poor persecuted 
man but no one is allowed to see him. It reminds one of the old 
days of pagan Rome in her persecuting hatred of the Christians. 
These cases of converted Moslems are multiplying in every part 
of the East. There are forty in one part of the empire inquiring 
in earnest and I trust that their place will be kept secret, for there 
is nothing so fatal to inquiry in this part of the world, as to have 
the names of the secret inquirers published. The case of the 
man now in bonds in Beirut is so public that I do not add to his 
danger by speaking of him. If we can do nothing for him, we 
can at least call public attention to this new and glaring violation 
of the principles of religious liberty. Will the time not come, 
when the voice of Protestant England will again be regarded in 
the East?" 

Dr. Bliss was then in daily communication with the secretary 
of the Turkish Mission's Aid Society, Rev. H. Jones, and widi 
Dr. Schmettau and the leading men of the Evangelical Alliance. 
He naturally informed them of this letter. Mr. Jones asked the 
loan of it, and without consulting Dr. Bliss, sent a copy of it to 
Earl Russell, Minister of Foreign Af&irs. Earl Russell at once 

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Who is this American Jessup? 285 

sent a copy of it with a letter to Sir Henry Bulwer and the mail 
reached him on his arrival in Beirut. He was, to speak mildly, 
furious. The next day he called on the American consul, J. A. 
Johnson, and at once began to use violent language. " Who is 
this American named Jessup ? I demand that he be expelled 
from Syria." He then used expletives about the American mis- 
sionaries generally and myself in particular which could hardly 
be repeated in polite society. The consul replied that American 
citizens were not easily expelled from Syria and added, " Sir, I 
demand an apology for this insulting language in my house." 
He then turned and left Sir Henry alone in the room. 

The next day, Sir Henry having had time for reflection and 
probably having made some inquiries as to the facts of the case, 
returned and humbly begged Mr. Johnson's pardon for his lan- 
guage on his previous visit. My letter having been a private 
letter, and made public without Dr. Bliss's knowledge, I did not 
feel responsible for the wounding of Sir Henry's sensibilities. 
But it was the testimony of all Englishmen in Syria and Con- 
stantinople with whom I came in contact, that Christian England 
was grossly misrepresented in the character of Her Majesty's 
ambassador at that time. His visit to Egypt did not stop the 
digging of the Suez Canal, and the Prince of Wales was glad to 
attend its historical opening in October, 1868, and later on 
Disraeli made a master stroke in securing for England a con- 
trolling interest in this magnificent work. 

The months of April and May were full of exciting events. 
We heard of Lee's surrender, the end of the war, and the assas- 
sination of President Lincoln. 

Dr. Thomson returned from his journey to Egypt, Sinai, and 
Palestine with a rich treasure of photographs. On this trip he 
discovered the site of Ai near Bethel. 

The Church of Hums, which had written us an insulting letter 
because we would not send them an American missionary to be 
their pastor, now wrote a letter full of regret and penitence at 
their language, begging us to ordain over them a native pastor, 
and on the 28th of May, Rev. Mr. Calhoun and Dr. George E. 

Digitized by 


286 Obstacles to Success 

Post ordained and installed Rev. SuUeeba Jerawan as their pastor. 
Previous to this. Dr. and Mrs. Post had buried their first-bora 
son, Arthur, aged six months, who died during his father's ab- 
sence in Beirut. 

In May, 1865, the demand for the Arabic Scriptures was so 
great that it became absolutely necessary to hasten the electro- 
typing of the Arabic Bible. Before Dr. Van Dyck sailed, he 
made an estimate of the working capacity of the press in Beirut, 
and of the probable time required to supply every person of the 
one hundred and twenty millions of the Arabic-speaking race 
with a copy of the Scriptures. The sixteen workmen in the 
Beirut Press can print an edition of 10,000 Bibles in six months 
or 20,000 a year. At that rate it would require 6,000 years to 
supply the Arab race with the Bible. Giving one to every 
&mily of five persons, it would require 1,200 years. With the 
electrotype plates, the Bible Society in New York may be able 
to print in a year two hundred thousand Bibles and even then 
would not be able to supply the Arab race in less than six hun- 
dred years. Surely there is room for all the presses of all the 
Bible societies in this great field. 

The departure of four missionaries this year threw heavy bur- 
dens upon those remaining. Dr. Van Dyck sailed June 3d, with 
his family, to electrotype the Arabic Bible in New York. On 
June 30th, Mr. J. Ford and family left by medical advice. In 
October, Mr. and Mrs. Berry were ordered to leave on account 
of feeble health, and on December i6th. Dr. W. M. Thomson left 
for England. I was thus left alone in Beirut, and was called upon 
to do extra work. Preaching twice on Sunday, with Sunday- 
school, Bible classes, the care of the press, proof-reading and edit- 
ing, a large correspondence, the custom-house and post-office 
work, pastoral visitation, and the planning and erection of the 
female seminary edifice and new building for the press, I had few 
idle hours. But my health was perfect, and nothing is better for 
a healthy man than hard work. 

The outbreak of cholera in July and the stampede of 20,000 
people to the mountains broke up our congregation, the press 

Digitized by 


Murderous Attack on Missionaries 287 

work, and the building, as the workmen had all left the city. It 
was a time of great solemnity. The sight of such a city as this 
almost deserted through a mere panic, when no case of cholera 
had occurred, impressed one with the mighty power of God. 
The press men deserted in a body and went off to Lebanon. The 
new building was left without a workman. Leaving our faithful 
deacon, Elias Fuwaz, in charge, July 12th, I made a visit to my 
brother Samuel and Dr. Geo. E. Post in Duma and six hours 
further to the Cedars of Lebanon. My companion was Mr. Pye- 
Smith of Alexandria, a nephew of Dr. Pye-Smith, the English 
geologist On our return south through the upper range of 
Lebanon, we found ourselves blocked by quarantines at every 
village smd had to prove that we had been away from Beirut at 
least ten days. On reaching Abeih, July 28th, I found that all 
communication with Beirut was cut off by a quarantine, in the 
open field, of fifteen days. Letters brought up by muleteers were 
fumigated in the field in the quarantine tent. The loads were 
dumped on the ground and left to sun for a day or two and then 
brought into the village. 

August 1st came a telegram from Tripoli of a murderous 
attack on Dr. Post and Mr. Samuel Jessup in Duma, by a drunken 
Maronite named Nasif Bu Kemal of Bekfeia. One man snapped 
a gun at Dr. Post's head which missed him. Another struck him 
on the shoulder with a huge club, but it only inflicted a slight 
bruise. I wrote at once to Bhamdoun to consult the American 
consul, and he telegraphed to the acting governor of Lebanon, 
and to Mr. Yanni in Tripoli. Daud Pasha, governor of Lebanon, 
had gone to G>nstantinople to get troops to suppress the rebellion 
of Yusef Keram of Ehden, near the Cedars. The whole moun- 
tain was in disorder and roads unsafe, as Yusef Keram's peasant 
soldiers and the horsemen of Silman Harfoosh, a Metawileh out- 
law, were plundering at their will. In view of the complication 
which might arise, were two American families left in that dis- 
turbed region, Mr. Bird and I were instructed by the mission to 
go to Duma with mules, and bring the two missionaries to Abeih. 
On our arrival we found that Yusef Keram, the Ehden rebel, and 

Digitized by 


288 Obstacles to Success 

sent and offered to come and burn Duma and punish Nasif, the 
Kesrawan criminal. His object was to show his authority in 
Northern Lebanon. The offer was declined, as the attack was 
not made by the people of Duma, and further, we would not al- 
low the burning of the village on our account Samuel and 
fomily went first with me, and Dr. Post and family a week later 
with Mr. Bird. The culprit was punished and obliged to pay the 
entire expenses of the trip to remove the missionaries. This the 
consul insisted upon and for years after that time the American 
missionaries in Tripoli summered there with a hearty welcome 
from the people. 

On my return to Abeih with Mr. Pye-Smith, I found a letter 
from President McLean, announcing that Princeton had conferred 
on me the degree of D. D. As I had never been in Princeton, 
and belonged to the New School Presbytery of Montrose, I was 
much surprised. I could not say ** an enemy hath done this," nor 
was I sure that a friend had done it, and it remained a mystery, 
until a letter from my friend and my father's friend, Rev. S. H. 
Cox, D. D., explained his intervention in the matter. In acknowl- 
edging this honour to President McLean, I wrote, ** I trust that 
this act of your institution is but an omen of that coming day, 
when the Presbyterian Church shall be one in outward union 
again, as it is one in doctrine and traditions and sacred associa- 
tions, for we are ' one body in Christ/ I am confident that if the 
question of reunion were left to the missionaries of the^Old and 
New School in foreign lands, it would be speedily consummated.*' 

Just before the cholera outbreak in Beirut, a Mohammedan 
sheikh, Abdul Khalily, who had read a vowelled Testament 
brought to him by one of his pupils, became a Christian. His 
wife raised an alarm and he was hurried ofT to prison. This in- 
formation was brought to me by Moslem friends. It is not likely 
that he will ever be heard from. Cholera epidemics prove con- 
venient times for disposing of obnoxious persons. Sheikh Yusef 
el Asir told me that he had been sent to Damascus. 

During the cholera epidemic in Beirut, every village in Lebanon 
put a quarantine of fifteen days against Beirut. The MoslemSf 

Digitized by 


Fatalism vs. Cholera 289 

being fatalists, will not flee nor take medicines. But the New 
School Moslems believe in running away, and they hired a learned 
sheikh to preach in the mosque on the doctrine of fate as affected 
by cholera. He said the doctrine was no doubt applicable and 
well enough in the days of the prophet, and did apply to the 
plague. But as there was no cholera in his da)rs, it was not a 
violation of the Koran to flee from cholera. The result of this 
''fetwa" or legal decision was a great exodus of Moslems from 
Beirut to Lebanon. This cholera visitation swept ofl* 46,000 in 
ten days in Mecca and 1,000 a day for some days in Cairo and 
moved northward. Not less than 3,000 died in Beirut, chiefly 
Mohammedans. Whole families were swept away. All business 
ceased. The labouring classes were on the verge of starvation. 
In Damascus the ravages of the pestilence were frightful At the 
same time locusts appeared in Syria and devastated whole dis- 
tricts, adding to the dismay of the afflicted people. The cattle 
murrain also ravaged Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, in some places 
destroying all the cattle. There has hardly been a year since I 
came to Syria when some one or more of these plagues have not 
visited the land. 

In Safita, Northern Syria, a cruel and barbarous persecution 
was carried on against the Protestants by Beit Bashoor and the 
Greek priests and bishops. The people were turned out-of-doors, 
their houses plundered, their grain burned on the threshing-floors, 
their women and girls turned over to Turkish soldiers, and women 
with children beaten with clubs, until the whole little community 
were driven into the wilderness. They appealed to Rashid Pasha, 
the new Waly of Syria, in Damascus, and he arrested the chief 

Truly that summer of 1865 was one of trial, affliction and 
sorrow, and out of the depths we cried unto the Lord. But there 
was one relief. Sir Henry Bulwer resigned and left Constanti- 
nople to the great joy of all British subjects in Ssoia, and was 
succeeded by Lord Lyons. 

Among my correspondents was Rev. W. F. Williams of 
Mardin and Mosul. He agonized over the Arabic gutturals, 

Digitized by 


290 Obstacles to Success 

and once, in a letter, asked me, « Do you really think that a man 
who speaks easily these awful guttural sounds can enter the 
kingdom of God ? " At another time, speaking of the desperate 
poverty of some of the villagers, he said, ** The children are 
so wretchedly ragged that there is not cloth enough in their gar- 
ments to make borders for the holes." During this summer, in 
spite of cholera, I sent off supplies through our Beirut agent to 
the missionaries in Northern Syria and Asia Minor. 

Early in October the cholera ceased, and the refugee population 
came back to Beirut Many found that their houses had been 
robbed during the months of cholera, and the business losses had 
been immense. But they had saved their lives and that was 
enough to make up for all money loss. Then the Abu Rikab or 
dengue fever broke out and hardly a man, woman, or child 
escaped, though it was not fatal. 

The press workmen returned, and the stone masons and car- 
penters resumed work on the girls' school edifice, but in a few 
days they too were down with the fever, which lasted a few 
hours, but left the body exhausted and enfeebled for weeks. 
Then came, on October i6th, a burning sirocco east wind with 
stagnant stifling heat by day and night. And how we longed 
for rain, the " early rains " I May, June, July, August, and 
September had passed without a drop of rain, and the ground, as 
usual at this season, was parched, the grass dry, and the leaves 
of the trees white with dust. The siroccos generally come in 
April and May, but this year the fierce east wind seemed to roll 
waves and billows of furnace-like hot air down over Lebanon 
into the sea, for at such a time it is as hot on Mount Leb- 
anon (Sunneen 8,600 feet above the sea level), as it is on the 

About November ist Daud Pasha returned from Constanti- 
nople with plenary authority to suppress Yusef Keram's rebellion. 
After various engagements in which Keram's motley army of 
peasants, priests, and monks were defeated by the pasha's troops, 
he surrendered in March, 1866, at the request of the French 
consul-general, and went into exile. Yusef Keram was a devout 

Digitized by 


A Very Willing Inquirer 291 

Maronite, fond of the clergy, but fatally ambitious, and his fall 
was a blessing to distracted Lebanon. 

After the first battle between Keram's and the pasha's troops, a 
stalwart Maronite peasant came to my house. He was a tall 
robust fellow bristling with arms, a gun, pistols, and sword. He 
said at once, " Beddi akloob Angliz " (I want to turn Protestant). 
«« Why ? " said I. " Oh, because yours is the only true religion, 
and I love you very much." I said, " Do you know what we be- 
lieve ? " " No," said he, " but I can learn." " Well, supposing 
we worship the devil ? " " All right," said he, " whatever you 
worship m worship." " Nonsense," said I, " what is the use of 
your talking about religion ? What did you come here for ? 
Tell me the whole case." " Ah," said he, " I'll tell you. I be- 
long to Yusef Beg Keram's army and Was captured by the pasha 
and have escaped, and if he catches me a second time he will 
shoot me, so I want to turn Angliz and get the protection of 
your flag." I gave the poor fellow some instruction in gospel 
truth, and then said, '< Yusef Beg has surrendered, and the pasha 
has granted an amnesty to all his army." '* Thank you," said 
he, " then I'll go ; good-day, sir," and bolted out of the house. 

In December the learned Mohammedan of Beirut, Abd el 
Kadir el Khalily, came to visit me again, night after night, like 
Nicodemus, and seemed deeply interested in the Gospel of Christ. 
He has narrowly escaped death for his course and been in prison 
and bonds, but still continues to inquire. One of our school- 
girls was taken from school to be married, being twelve years 
old. Another one, aged ten, was married, and when she came to 
visit her teachers brought her dolls with her. A young Copt 
from Abyssinia named Selim called on me and wished to learn 
about Christianity. He said he had been brought up as a slave 
by a Moslem who taught him nothing ; then he was taken by 
Armenian monks in Jerusalem who did not teach him, " and now 
I am eighteen years old and have no religion. Can you tell me 
what to do ? I cry every night when I go to sleep because I 
have no religion and do not know how to pray and am afraid of 
God. Do you think God would send me to hell if I should die 

Digitized by 


292 Obstacles to Success 

without knowing how to pray?" I told him of Christ the 
Saviour and explained the way of salvation by faith, read to him 
from the New Testament, and showed him how to pray. The 
tears came to his eyes and he thanked me, and often came to get 
instruction and seemed to have found peace in believing. 

The year of 1865 was one of bitter persecution in Safita, where 
the little flock was sifted like wheat, crops burned, cattle stolen, 
houses attacked, women insulted, and all by a feudal family of 
Orthodox Greeks who had enough influence with Turkish local 
oflicials to commit every outrage without fear of punishment. 
Years after three boys from Safita were in the Syrian Protestant 
College, one from among those persecuted, and two were the 
sons of the chief persecutors. They were staunch friends and the 
poor boy placed his bed between theirs. 

The number of Scriptures issued from the press in 1865 was 
4,333, of which 2,120 were sent to Egypt. Not the least of my 
personal burdens during 1865, when my colleagues were absent, 
was the voluminous correspondence required to carry on the 
girls' boarding-school in Beirut and complete its building. I 
wrote not less than five hundred pages of letters to pastors and 
Sunday-school superintendents, and raised about thirty annual 
scholarships of eighty dollars each to support charity pupils. 
Nothing was received from the American Board, and we had to 
carry the load as individuals. As I look over those letters in my 
copy-book now I am amazed at the amount of work laid out and 
the eyesight expended. 

To my great relief Mr. Henry E. Thomson took charge of the 
business department of the mission and the press. But I was 
not able for many years after this to shake off* the custom-house 
business of the mission, and I have spent many precious hours 
and suffered from many bruises in my body and rents in my 
garments, from climbing over boxes, barrels, and bales in the 
custom-house amid the yelling, crowding and cursing of a score 
of rough porters and the jostling of merchants and traders pro- 
testing against the ruthless smashing of their goods. These 
porters designedly tear open sacks of rice and sugar and boxes 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 





Eh O O 

H S ^ 

£ d » 

tH ^ ^ 
Pi's § 

•-^ ft *< 

P5 "^ p. 
tn P a> 

Digitized by 


The Beirut Church 293 

of valuables in order to steal the contents in the confusion. A 
Turkish custom-house is the best earthly type of pandemoniunL 

The last of September, 1865, we received a copy of the 
Sultan's order giving us the same privileges as the French, in 
allowing all missionary goods to enter the custom-houses free of 
duty. We never asked this privilege, but as it was given now to 
all clergy, rabbis, moolahs, priests, nuns, monks, teachers, and 
doctors of the hospitals native and foreign, we accepted the offer. 
But some years after, when the Turks found that some of the 
foreign monks and nuns were importing European goods and 
handing them over to native merchants for sale, then the rule 
was modified and gradually greater and greater restrictions have 
been put on the missionaries, and we had (in 1907) the anomalous 
condition that while the American Missions in Constantinople 
and Smyrna had no duty to pay on imported goods, we in Syria 
were subject to full duty on all importations. But through our 
ambassador, Mr. Leishmann, the custom-house immunities have 
been partially restored to us (in 1908) thus placing us on the 
same footing as other foreigners in the empire. 

1866 — In January of this year the Syria Mission, having decided 
to build a church edifice in Beirut which should at the same time 
be a home for the Syrian Evangelical Church, and also for the 
Anglo-American Congregation, began to raise the needed funds 
at home and abroad. After forty years of conducting the Eng- 
lish preaching service at Beirut the mission had invited Rev. 
James Robertson, missionary of the Jewish Committee of the 
Church of Scotland, to assume this service, and this committee, 
with a desire to make the work permanent, agreed to give ;£'450 
sterling, on condition that they have control of the pulpit at 
II o'clock A. M. every Sunday. After ten years, if either party 
terminated the agreement by giving one year's notice, then jf 300 
must be refunded to the Scotch Committee. Dr. Robertson 
afterwards accepted a professorship in the divinity school of 
Glasgow University, and was succeeded by Rev. George M. 
Mackie in 1880, who has continued to the present time. 

Digitized by 


294 Obstacles to Success 

During this month I again engaged a Maronite from Kesrawan 
to blast the bed of bone breccia discovered in 1864 by Canon 
H. B. Tristram on the Dog River promontory. After the rock 
had been thoroughly broken up, I went out and selected several 1 
camel loads and shipped two boxes to Canon Tristram, to the \ 
British Museum, and five blocks also to the cabinet I was collect- i 
ing for the college. 

I also sent specimens to my old professor, James D. Dana of 
Yale College, and said in a letter to him, " You will find in the 
masses sent sharp elongated chips or fragments of flint, some of 
which are not unlike the American Indian arrow-heads. I also 
send a package of these flints broken out of the rock. From 
the small fragments of bones and teeth sent to Dr. Tristram last 
year, scientific men in England have inferred that they belonged 
to a species of gigantic bison. I should be interested to know the . , 
opinion of yourself and Professor Silliman. The central deposit 
is sixty feet in length, thirty feet in width, and ten feet in thick- 
ness. The fossil geology of the Lebanon range has hardly be- 
gun to be explored. Dr. Anderson's report in Lynch's 
** Dead Sea " was necessarily meagre. It does not touch the 
fossil fish or the fine pectens and echinoderms of the Northern 
Lebanon. In every missionary journey we continually stumble 
upon new specimens, and the collection whick I am now making 
for the Syrian Protestant College will contain numerous interest- 
ing fossils which have never been described. The rock sur- 
rounding the bone breccia is a compact tertiary limestone con- 
taining fossil corals and sponges." 

In March, 1869, I received from General Cesnola, American 
consul in Cyprus, a box of minerals, supposed to be cupreous 
ores, which I sent to Professor Dana of Yale College for analysis. 
As the ancient supplies of copper came chiefly from Cyprus 
there must be extensive deposits of the ore in that classic island 

During that winter the mission kindly brought brother Samuel 
and his wife from Tripoli to Beirut. Samuel had been trained to 
bookkeeping when a merchant, and he soon reduced my press 
and mission accounts to order. Being the only trained business 


Digitized by 


A Moral Chameleon I95 

man in the mission up to that time, his business knowledge was 
invaluable and has been so for the forty-six years of his mission- 
ary life. He and his wife had charge of my youngest child 
Harry, and this visit gave the little boy, two years and a half old, 
his first opportunity to get acquainted with his father. 

The ex-Jesuit William Gifford Palgrave was in Beirut January 
loth. His moral and religious history is a curious study in 
ethics. Before his journey through Arabia he was a zealous 
Jesuit missionary, disputing with the Syrian Protestants and was 
known as << Kus Mikhaiel." ^ After his journey and when he no 
longer needed French Catholic aid, and when he did need the 
good-will of his kindred in England in order to get his share of 
the inheritance, he went to Berlin, openly renounced the Pope 
and papacy, and became a good Protestant again. He was a 
moral chameleon. 

The death of Sarah Bistany in January made a deep religious 
impression on all the young people in the schools and the 

During this year we began to raise funds for building a new 
church in Beirut It was the policy of the American Board to 
leave the erection of new buildings to the natives, but in view of 
the fact that this building was to be used not only for the Arabic 
but also for the Anglo-American Congregation in which scores 
of tourists worship every year, they consented to give the land 
and one thousand dollars towards the building. This edifice was 
completed, the tower finished and the bell and clock set up, 
early in 1870, as will appear later in this volume. 

This month of January, 1866, was full of financial anxiety. I 
was engaged in building the girls' school edifice and had finished 
the lower story, when the funds began to give out and I wrote to 
the New York friends a new appeal As we were very properly 
obliged to accompany our appeal with a request that the dona- 
tions should not interfere with the regular gifts to the Board, we 
made slow progress. For econom/s sake I had postponed 
building the lateral partition walls on the upper story, but a 

Digitized by 


296 Obstacles to Success 

hurricane on March ist, which blew off the upper tier of stones* 
compelled us, funds or no funds, to strengthen the walls and 
build the partitions. God in His providence interposed, and 
funds were given to finish the building ; Mrs. M. B. Young, of 
Fall River, gave ^800 to dig a rain-water cistern to hold 10,000 
jars of water which has been an untold blessing to the school. 
At that time we had no water-works in Beirut All water for 
drinking and washing came from wells and was expensive. This 
cistern saved the school ^200 a year. Carlyle once proposed 
that instead of a monument to a man they sink a coal shaft to 
him. Mrs. Young's cistern has been a noble monument to her 

The sheikh of the village of Mahardee, northeast of Hamaih, 
came to Hums to get a Bible. Not having the ready cash he 
gave his sword for a Bible. My brother Samuel secured the 
sword and it was sent on to New York and hung in the room of 
the American Bible Society where it remains. That Bible 
wrought wonders. An evangelical church was established, 
schools opened, and it is (in 1908) one of the brightest spots in 
Ssoia. No better exchange could a man make than to give a 
sword of steel for the Sword of the Spirit. 

February 13th — A touching incident occurred in the girls' 
school. One of the little girls, aged seven, came to her teacher 
and said, <' I am Jesus' girl now. Last night I gave my heart to 
Jesus and He took it" Truly out of the mouths of babes has 
the Lord perfected praise. 

Dr. Post and family moved from Tripoli to Abeih this week, 
to aid Mr. Calhoun in the seminary. They brought word that 
Mr. Samuel Mitchell, brother of our dear friend Dr. Arthur 
Mitchell, will join our mission this fall. He was in my Sunday- 
school class in the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1854-55. 
As I had agreed, in taking possession of the old mission house 
(the Burj Bird) for the girls' school and thus turning the press 
out-of-doors, to erect a new press building above the cemetery, I 
did so, and thus expended 34,000 piastres (about $i,20Cl' of the 

Digitized by 


Daniel Bliss Returns 297 

seminary building fund, but we gained the old building which we 
could not have erected for twice that money. 

On the 2d of March we welcomed back from America and 
England Rev. Dr. Daniel Bliss, Mrs. Bliss and four children. 
They occupied the Kamad house in the eastern part of the city 
and summered in Aitath» Mount Lebanon. Dr. Bliss began at 
once his teaching work in the houses leased from Mr. B. Bistany. 
A selected class of boys was put in training for the first college 
class. During his eighteen months' stay in England he had se- 
cured about twenty thousand dollars for current expenses of the 
coil^e and made many friends for the institution. 

Digitized by 



The Sjrrian Protestant College 

THE Syrian Protestant College is the child of the SyrisL 
Mission, and but for the mission work done in Syria 
from 1820 to i860, it could not have existed. The 
American preachers and teachers who had founded the native 
evangelical church and trained a native ministry, planned and 
proposed a literary institution which should control the higher 
education of the future in the Orient in the interests of religion 
and the Bible. 
r ' The exclusion of the English language from the Abeih Seminary 
\ in Lebanon, and the girls' boarding-school of Beirut, and con- 
I fining all instruction to the vernacular Arabic, had begun as early 
I as 1858 to lead prominent families to withdraw their children 
1 from American schools and send them to the French Laza- 
rists and Jesuits. And thus the edict of Dr. Anderson excluding 
English from all mission schools of the American Board was 
largely the occasion of the founding of the Syrian Protestant 
College. The Abeih Seminary which had stood at the head of 
Syrian high schools now shrank to a third or fourth place. It 
was training men solidly in Arabic, in the Bible and the sciences, 
and could fit men to be native preachers in the villages, but its 
instruction was largely gratuitous. 
' But the country demanded something more than this. Steam 
had brought Europe face to face with Syria, and the Syrians de- 
_ manded French and English. They also needed medical science 
and educated physicians. The land was sufTering and groaning 
under a dynasty of ignorant and conceited quacks. Who would 
come to the rescue ? Who would initiate, adjust, guide and con- 
trol such a system of education ? Was it to be left to the Jesuits, 
those enemies of a pure Gospel, those masters of intrigue and 


Digitized by 


Conflicting Plans 299 

duplicity and perverters of the human conscience? This must 
not be. The men were ready. Those who had started the first 
steam printing-press in Syria and the first boys' and girls' 
boarding-schools, were the first to initiate what took final form 
as the Syrian Protestant College. 

The massacres of i860 had brought Syria anew to the attention 
of England and America. Many intelligent men from both 
countries had visited Beirut, and expressed a desire that more 
should be done for the future education of the Arab race. The 
missionaries concurred in the desire and had frequent consulta- 
tions on the subject. Various plans were proposed. The Malta 
Protestant College, founded years before, had gathered students 
from Greece, European Turkey, Asia Minor, and Egypt, but had 
jiot been a success. They had not proved to be a benefit to their 
native lands. The experiment of .educating the youth of a coun- 
try in a foreign land is a dangerous one, especially if it be gra- 
tuitous. Dr. William M. Thomson's favourite theory was to found 
a school, with native Arab teachers and principal, as soon as 
practicable, but to assist it by endowments from abroad. This 
was also his plan in the Native Protestant Female Seminary, 
founded in 1861, as a successor to Dr. Henry De Forest's high 
school for girls. October 17, 1861, 1 wrote Rev. D. Stuart Dodge 
in New York as follows: " We have now in contemplation a 
plan for establishing a Protestant college in Beirut, to be under 
native professors and teachers, to relieve the Board of the expense 
of higher education in Beirut and Syria. We have the men for the 
teachers, and Europeans and Americans will constitute the board 
of trustees to control the funds which we hope to raise in England 
and America, if it can be done without necessitating a Church of 
England control of its aflairs. We should have made the appeal 
in America as did Dr. Hamlin of Constantinople, but the Civil 
War forbids." 

On December 20th Rev. J. A. Ford left for England at the in- 
vitation of the Turkish Mission's Aid Society with the under- 
standing that Mr. Butrus Bistany, a learned Syrian Protestant, 
would follow him ere long to aid in raising funds for a higher 

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300 The Syrian Protestant College 

literary institution where the president and professors should be 
native Syrians. 

Even as late as January 4, 1862, 1 wrote to Rev. John Worta- 
bet as follows : '' If war does not break out between England 
and America, immediate steps will be taken to establish a large 
Protestant native institution of a high order in Beirut, with the 
cooperation of all the missions in Syria, Palestine and Egypt." 

But after extended correspondence and mature deliberation it 
was found that none of the educated Syrians had had experience 
with modern college methods and training ; and it became ap- 
parent that the liberal donors in Europe and America would not 
give money unless the institution were under Anglo-Saxon con- 

The Beirut Girls' School was carried on for six years with 
Syrian teachers, when the principal broke down under the load, 
and as no available Syrian woman was qualified to take her place 
at that time, it became necessary to secure American teachers. 
' After repeated conferences and thorough discussion of the 
question in all its bearings, it was decided by the Syria Mission, 
January 23, 1862, that Dr. Thomson and Mr. Daniel Bliss be a 
committee " to prepare a minute in relation to a contemplated 
literary institution to be located in Beirut" Mr. Bliss was also 
proposed as principal. 

The minute was presented January 27th and adopted, and Mr. 
Bliss was elected principal. One of the clauses of the minute 
was as follows : "It is deemed essential for the success of the 
undertaking that the contemplated institution should be guided 
and guarded by the combined wisdom and experience of the 
mission and have for its principal a person who shall be able, 
with the divine blessing, to infuse into it that elevated moral and 
religious influence without which scientific and literary educa- 
tion may prove a curse and not a blessing." The plan was then 
. referred to the Prudential Committee of the A. B. C. F. M. for 
their consideration and sanction, and they were asked to author- 
ize the appointment of Mr. Bliss. 

In reply the Prudential Committee gave their approval of the 

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Views of Prudential Committee 301 

plan, but with evident misgiving, and consented to the appoint- 
ment of Rev. D. Bliss as principal^ his salary as missionary to 
continue for the present.* 

Their letter was a masterly statement of the objections to a 
high grade English teaching institution on the mission field, and 
their approval of the ground taken by the mission, that such a 
school should not be supported by ordinary mission funds, but 
have its own independent endowment and board of trustees. 
They also insisted that the vernacular institution at Abeih could 
not be modified to meet the wants here contemplated ; but that 
the college could in time relieve Abeih Academy of its literary 
department, leaving it thereafter to pursue only theological studies. 
They quoted from the Liverpool Conference of Missions, that " it 
is difficult to educate, without, to a certain extent, denational- 
izing, and that the denationalizing tendency is to be corrected by 
emphasizing . the vernacular part of the educational course, and 
that it is difficult to get those acquiring an English education to 
pay attention to their own language/' It was also urged that 
Asiatics acquiring civilized habits will be unfitted to live at home 
in their native region, and do good to their own people. Dr. 
Anderson, who was the writer of the Board's reply, summed up 
his views by saying in substance that the education given should 
not ie gratuitous ; that it should involve no necessary change of 
habits and tastes ; and that ** we confess to an apprehension that 
Beirut will not be found the place for the young men^ preparing 
for the ministry." He quotes Dr. Alexander DufTas saying that 
** the missions want men with a simple but sufficient education, 
especially adapted to the condition and wants of the rural pop- 
ulation, who will be cheerfully willing to labour for moderate 
salaries ; but that a smattering of English fills men with conceit, 
makes them unwilling to labour in the villages, and that they 
will be dissatisfied and heartless grumblers, were we to offer them 
less than double or treble the sum cheerfully accepted by those 
educated in a vernacular course." He quotes Dr. Kingsbury of 
the Choctaw Mission as saying that " with a few interesting ex- 

^ Anderson's '' Missions to the Oriental Churches," VoL II, p. 388. 

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302 The Syrian Protestant College 

ceptions^ those that have acquired the most English seem to be 

r .the furthest from embracing the Gospel" Dr. Anderson insists 

\^ / I that the education be evangelical as opposed to the Jesuit 

\ 1 I scheme. Their education is showy but deceptive. They fear to 

\ \ \ cultivate the reasoning powers ; we fear nothing in the region of 

^ logic, nothing from the light of truth. '« But do not attempt to 

j 'educate the masses. That must be done by the people them- 

t selves and they must support their own native pastorate and their 

*" -^wn village schools." 

This letter was read by the mission and carefully considered^ 
but there was nothing suggested that made us hesitate to go for- 
ward with the enterprise. Reasons of health requiring that the 
family of Mr. Bliss visit the United States, he was authorized to 
go, and reached New York September 17th, in time to attend the 
meeting of the A. B. C. F. M. in Springfield, Mass. There he 
met Mr. and Mrs. William E. Dodge and their son. Rev. D. 
Stuart Dodge. The interest of the latter in foreign missions, and 
the fact that he had hoped to become a missionary to Syria, 
made him a hearty advocate of the new college scheme, not only 
in his own family, but in the pulpit and the press. It was de- 
cided, after mature deliberation, to form a board of trustees, and 
Mr. William A. Booth and Hon. William E. Dodge consented to 
act, and through their influence Messrs. David Hoadley, Simeon 
B. Chittenden, Abner Kingman and Joseph S. Ropes were in- 
duced to serve. A local board of managers in Syria was then 
appointed, composed of American and British missionaries, 
American and British consuls and British merchants, eighteen in 

An appeal was issued for an endowment — we had asked Mr. 
Bliss to raise, if possible, $20,000. But the sagacious and far*" 
seeing trustees insisted that the sum be ^100,000. Hon. W. E, 
Dodge headed the subscription with 1 15,000, and Mrs. Dodge 
with |io,ooo. 

In February, 1863, a circular appeal was issued by the trustees, 
and Mr. Bliss and Mr. D. Stuart Dodge set about the work. It 
was in the midst of the war for the Union, and a dark time, but 

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The Board of Managers 303 

money was plenty and " greenbacks " were being multiplied. In 
1857 I gave President Woolsey, of Yale, several antique bronze 
coins of the Emperor Probus. He observed with a smile, " We 
have 700 coins of Probus in the Yale library. Probus was the 
S. P. Chase of antiquity ; he seems to have done little but manu- 
facture coins." 

The local government of the college was vested from 1864 to 
1902 in the board of managers and the faculty. The board of 
managers met annually and often held special meetings. In the 
outset, it was responsible for the financial management of the 
college, and received every year the official report of the presi- 
dent and faculty, which it ratified and transmitted to the trustees. 
But after thirty-six years, in view of the increase in the number 
of the members of the faculty and their large experience and ad- 
mitted ability to manage the internal af&irs of the college, and 
the fact that, owing to the rapid growth of the college and the 
multiplication of its departments it was impossible for the man- 
agers to give the needed time and study to the needs and inter- 
ests of the college to enable them to vote intelligently on ques- 
tions of policy and administration, the managers decided, after 
long and prayerful consideration, to withdraw and leave their 
functions and responsibilities to the faculty. They at the same 
time expressed their unfailing interest in the college and their 
willingness to aid by counsel and cooperation whenever the faculty 
or trustees should ask their aid. 

When Dr. John Wortabet was nominated by the managers in 
Beirut as professor in the medical department in September, 1866, 
objection was made on the ground that he was not an American 
but a native of Syria. Dr. W. M. Thomson was a strong advo- 
cate of his appointment and said emphatically, " If the appoint- 
ment of native professors is to be impossible simply because they 
are native, I must decline to have anything more to do with the 
college." But this ground was never taken. The objection 
which came from beyond the sea was based on the experience of 
certain institutions where there was evident incompatibility be- 
tween men of different nationalities trying to work together. 

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304 Tbe Syrian Protestant College 

Germans and Englishmen had not worked well together in certain 
well-known cases. Dr. Wortabetwas elected and did excellent 
work as a teacher. He is the author of " The Religions of Syria," 
a standard book, which in its line has no peer. 

After the completion of the endowment in America, Mr. and 
Mrs. Bliss spent about a year in England where they were cor- 
dially received by public men, clergymen, statesmen and civilians, 
prominent among whom were Lord Shaftesbury, Sir Culling Eard- 
ley, the Duke of Argyle and others, and the sum of ^20,000 
{£4,000) was received for purchasing needed furniture and appa- 
ratus, and paying current expenses. 

In March, 1866, Mr. and Mrs. Bliss returned to Beirut, and in 
the autunm the college was opened with sixteen pupils, all re- 
ceived gratuitously. A preparatory class had been formed the 
previous year in connection with the national school or <' Wa* 
taniyeh" of Mr. Butrus Bistany, an eminent, industrious and 
learned Syrian Protestant scholar. The faculty of the college ia 
the outset consisted of Rev. D. Bliss, President ; Rev. C. V. A. 
Van Dyck, M. D., D. D., Professor of the Theory and Practice of 
Medicine, Astronomy, and Chemistry; Rev. George E. Post, 
M. D., D. D. S., Professor of Surgery and Botany, and afterwards 
Mr. Harvey Porter, Professor of History, with Mr. Asaad Shidoody 
as tutor in Arabic. The first class graduated in 1870. The med- 
ical department was organized and opened in 1867, the first class 
graduating in 1871. The preparatory department was begun in 
1 87 1, but was not fully organized until 1880. The school of 
. commerce was opened in October, 1900. 

During the early years of the college, Arabifc was the language 
of instruction in all departments. This was later changed to 
English. The classes of 1880 in the collegiate department, and 
of 1887 in the medical department, were the first to be instructed 
trough the medium of that language. 

The reasons for this change were various. There was, first, a 
•' strong and insistent desire " on the part of the young men of 
the East to know thoroughly some foreign language, either Eng- 
lish or French ; secondly, the absence of Arabic text-books in tiie 

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2 « 



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English the Medium of Instruction 305 

various branches taught Dr. Van Dyck and others had pub- 
lished in Arabic works on geography, arithmetic^ pathology and 
the higher mathematics, but before a scientific text-book could be 
translated, printed and bound, it might be quite out of date, and 
the enormous expense of publishing Arabic books with their slow 
and limited sale made it impossible to keep lip with the progress 
of science, and so English was chosen as the language of the in- 
Vstitution. Again, students other than Syrians were debarred by 
the Arabic language from entering the college. Armenians, 
Greeks, Bulgarians, and Persians desired to come, and by making 
English the common language, the door was thrown open to alL 
llie British occupation of Egypt moreover created a demand for 
the English language and for medical and scientific and business 
men trained in English. Since 1880 the students have had direct 
access to the wealth of literary, scientific and philosophical works 
found in the English language ; the latest medical and scientific 
text-books are readily obtained, and highly qualified tutors, 
graduates of American colleges and universities are annually 
secured for a three years' term of service. Yet this adoption of 
English has not been at the expense of the Arabic, for ** the 
Arabic instruction is so efficient that the graduates average higher 
ability to use the tongue acceptably than those of any other mis- 
sionary institution in the Arabic-speaking world. The thorough 
Arabic instruction supplies the channel through which our 
graduates can communicate to their peoples the thought of 
modern learning; the English equipment supplies thought worthy 
to be communicated." 

The rumour of the opening of a Protestant college stirred up all 
the various sects of the land to action. The Papal Greek 
patriarch built a large edifice in the Museitebeh quarter and 
brought out a Parisian to teach French and an Irishman to teach , 
English. The patriarch did not know that his school was just 
what we all rejoiced in. For we felt sure that the Syrian Protestant 
College would yet compel all Syria to be educated, and this hope 
has been realized. The Jesuit Fathers removed their college from 
Ghazeer, Mount Lebanon, to Beirut and constituted it a university. 

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3o6 The Syrian Protestant College 

The Maronite archbishop also opened a college in the east- 
em quarter in Beirut. 

The Turkish government has opened several high institutions 
for Mohammedan youth, and the Israelitish Alliance an academy 
for Jewish boys. 

The details of the college property, equipment, faculty and 
student body are well shown in President Bliss' report for 
1901-02 and in the annual catalogue of 1908-09 in which is 
announced the new training course for teachers. Table II in 
the catalogue shows the annual growth in student enrollment 
from sixteen in 1866 to 876 in 1908. 

The model of the campus and its buildings made by me in 
1902 for the college I reproduced at the request of Morris K. 
Jesup, using one of the rooms in the American Museum of 
Natural History, where Mr. Bumpus courteously gave me every 
facility and assistance required. It was enclosed in a mahogany 
and plate glass case and sent to the St Louis Exposition, being 
awarded a gold medal. 

I had the pleasure of explaining the complete model with exact 
reproductions of each building carved out of " Malta " stone to a 
gathering on February 13, 1903, invited by Mr. Jesup and his 
fellow trustees. 

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Progress and Revival 

Ishoc es Shemmaa— Locusts— A native pastor— The meteoric shower 
of 1866— Elias Saadeh. 

RETURNING to 1866 it must be noted that in March the 
Yusef Keram rebellion was still raging in the northern 
part of Lebanon, and we were straining every energy to 
complete the new girls' school building and to raise funds for the 
new church edifice. The French government had joined the 
other European Powers (England, Germany, Russia, Austria, and 
Italy) in aiding the Turkish government to suppress the Keram 
rebellion of priests and monks, Metawileh highwaymen and un- 
couth peasants. On April 29th, Rev. Khalil Maghubghub was 
ordained native pastor in Ain Zehalteh, Mount Lebanon. He 
was converted in 1846 by reading a Bible stolen in a Druse raid 
on a Christian village in the civil war of 1845. 

Just at that time we heard the sad and stunning news of the 
sudden death of our colleague. Rev. J. Edwards Ford, in Geneseo, 
111., U. S. A. He rode out on horseback Sunday morning, 
March 25th, six miles across the prairie, to preach. It was 
a bright, mild morning and he wore no overcoat. On his return 
a fierce northwest blizzard began and before he reached home it 
had literally congealed his blood ; double pneumonia set in, and 
in nine days, April 3d, he passed away. 

The mission was thus deprived of one who was one of its 
strongest, ablest, and most efficient men. Mr. Ford was a master 
of the Arabic, a clear and cogent preacher, of commanding per- 
sonality, sagacious in counsel, calm and patient and greatly be- 
loved by the people. He was eminently a man of prayer. No 
one could be in his society or communicate with him in any way 
without being impressed with this fact. He was a wise counsellor. 


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3o8 Progress and Revival 

His judgment was sober, calm and clear, and his opinions, though 
modestly expressed, were well weighed and of great value. 

In missionary labour he was indefatigable, of an iron frame, 
and with great physical vigour he endured what few other mis- 
sionaries could. He seemed capable of doing anything without 
fatigue. He was thought to be the strongest man in the Syria 

On May i, 1866, Rev. S. H. Calhoun took his elder children to 
America for education, and returned January, 1867. 

In March a young silk dealer from Hums, a member of the 
church, named Ishoc es Shemmaa, gave up his business and an- 
nounced his purpose to give up his life to preaching the Gospel 
Preparatory to entering a course of training under Mr. Calhoun 
in Abeih, he went on a preaching tour in the mountains west of 
Hamath. His life history is full of thrilling incidents. His 
grandfather, also named Ishoc, a Greek of the Orthodox Church, 
was a wild, fearless youth in league with the robbers and murder- 
ers of Hums. His weapon was a sharp sickle and night was his 
day. He was a famous swordsman and once put to flight a body 
of men with a walnut pipe stick. Being arrested for crime, he 
was taken out of the city by the governor and troops, to be 
hung. The governor said, " Ishoc, turn Moslem, and we will 
save your life and make you a governor, for you are a worthy 
man." He replied, ** Impossible. I have been a man of blood 
and it will go hard with me. I cannot deny what religion I have. 
Whatever you wish to do, do it." Then he sprang and attacked 
the commander of the guard but was seized and hung to a tree. 
The Greeks canonized him and said that a star appeared over his 
grave. Ishoc's father was even worse than the grandfather, and 
added to the sharp sickle swords, pistols, daggers, and guns, and 
became a notorious highway robber. He once dispersed fifty 
armed men. He was famous in the use of the sword, the club, 

* Rev. Joshua Edward Ford, bom in 1825, graduated at Williams 
College 1844, graduated Union Seminary 1847, reached Syria March 8, 
1848, reached Aleppo April 19, 1848, removed to Beirut November 11, 
1855, removed to Sidon August i, 1859. 

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Ishoc es Shemmaa 309 

and the spear, and an expert player on the harp, lute, and 
cymbals. A large number of enemies attacked him one night 
by the river Orontes. Some of them he cast into the river, 
others he killed and others he wounded. He too was a man of 
blood. Ishoc's account is now given in his own words : <' As I 
grew up he used to beat me and threaten to butcher me so as to 
teach me to be bold and fight. He also taught me to sing vile 
songs and to play the stringed instruments. He took me to 
every haunt of immorality and crime and the people applauded 
my singing. 

** In i860 I began to think about religion. I had persecuted 
the Protestants and mobbed them. I bought a Testament to 
read about the miracles of Christ, and see how great a man He 
was. A man asked me, * Have you heard this new Gospel ? ' I 
read the Testament, was troubled, saw my error and sin. My 
father said, < What is this book ? Are you becoming Angliz ? ' 
He took a sword and rushed to kill me. Neighbours crowded 
in. I said, * Blessed are ye when men persecute you.' Father 
said, * That is the talk of the Angliz.' I said it is the Word of 
Christ. Again he tried to kill me and watched his chance. At 
night he would say to my mother, * Let me rise and butcher 
Ishoc while he sleeps, and be rid of such an iniquitous son.' 
Mother told him to wait a little and I would return to the Greek 
Church. So he waited and watched me. When I read the 
Gospel I seemed to be in the very days of Christ and the years 
of the apostles. Then all the family and town arose upon me 
and took my book. I fled, fearing that fother would kill me. 
When I returned he asked me to read from the book. God 
opened his heart, he believed and rejoiced, went out to preach 
and was mobbed. People said, < We thought that he would con- 
vince his son, but his son convinced him.' Yet all feared him. 
He testified for Christ And when the people saw that he would 
not sing vile songs for money, nor drink arak, nor lie, they said, 
« Truly they are Protestants.' He died trusting and rejoicing in 
Jesus and was persecuted even after his death, for his grave was 
insulted and dishonoured, but he was with Jesus.'' Ishoc after- 

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310 Progress and Revival 

wards laboured for thirty years as a faithful colporteur and 
evangelist in Beirut, Lebanon, and Latakia, where he is still at 

In March, 1866, the locusts again appeared and the entire male 
population of Beirut was ordered out to the pines to gathier them- 
When full grown the body of each female locust is a sac of eggs. 
Each man is required to gather six pounds of the eggs, 1. ^., the 
bodies of the locusts. Poor Syria I The land seems to be the 
victim of successive plagues : cholera, cattle murrain, civil war, 
locusts come one after the other or all together, so the people 
hardly recover from one before they are smitten with another. 
These, with the exactions and cruel extortions of the merciless 
tax-gatherers almost drive the people to desperation. 

Dr. Thomson returned in March from England, having com- 
pleted arrangements for publishing <' The Land and the Book," 
and having helped Dr. Bliss in securing substantial aid for the 
college. By April our sorrow and anxiety about the failure of 
funds to complete the girls' school building were turned into joy. 
In one week came a draft for jf 100 from Mr. Henry Farnum then 
in Paris; ;f240 from Mr. William A. Booth; and £so from 
Robert Arthington, ;£'390 in all. Dr. Thomson, Mr. Calhoun, 
Mr. Eddy, and Mr. Bird were all in Beirut when the news came 
and we had a service of thanksgiving and praise to God. On 
that very day Mr. Tod of Alexandria was in Beirut. His wife 
gave money for the first girls' school building for Mrs. Eli Smith 
in 1834, and he said he wished to contribute jf 100 towards this 
second edifice. 

April 3d — I wrote to Dr. H. B. Tristram, *• As soon as the col- 
lege gets settled in a permanent building, we hope to establish a 
Biblical museum of all the plants, birds, animals, minerals, and 
implements, etc., mentioned in the Bible, for the use of the pupils 
and the conservation of many things now rapidly going out of 
use. It is astonishing to see how rapidly the West is encroaching 
on the East." 

At this time one hundred and ten new families came out as 
Protestants in Hums. The Emir Soleyman Harfoosh was 

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Problem of a Native Pastorate 311 

poisoned in Damascus by a dose of " soleymany " (corrosive sub- 
limate), given to him in coffee in the Damascus prison. The 
people exclaimed at the correspondence between his name and 
his bane. 

In May the son of an American millionaire came to Lebanon 
for the summer. He held a nominal political office in Egypt and 
brought with him a Moslem Nubian servant, who was dressed in 
Parisian style with a gold-headed cane and high boots. The 
American did not have any religion to boast of but had evidently 
a vein of humour in his nature. One day he asked the American 
consul to inform Mr. Calhoun that his valet Ali was ready to be 
baptized, as he had become a Christian. The consul said, '' What 
proof have you that he is a Christian ? " The millionaire re- 
plied, «' Tell Mr. Calhoun that he eats pork and gets drunk, and 
that proves that he is not Moslem, so he must be Christian." 
Alas, his master also used to get drunk, but neither of them were 
considered fit subjects for baptism. 

June 9th — There are rumours of cholera at Tiberias. No won- 
der ! Many of the Jews of Tiberias have made a vow that they 
will not change their clothes until the kingdom is restored to 
Israel ; a convenient vow for such a lazy, unwashed rabble, but 
bad for their neighbours in cholera times. 

The ever-recurring question of a Syrian pastor for the Beirut 
church was most pressing at this time when the foreign mission- 
ary force was so depleted and feeble. We were constantly crit- 
icized by neighbouring missions at the north and by Board of- 
ficials at home for not having a native pastor in Beirut No one 
regretted our failure more than I did. As acting pastor I urged 
upon them their duty to have a native pastor. We tried every 
educated native preacher but none would accept the place. We 
trained men for the ministry but they were tempted away by the 
higher salaries paid by other missions. In a letter to Dr. Clark 
of the American Board, I poured out my soul as follows : " The 
prospect of securing a native pastor for the Beirut church is as 
remote as ever. I cannot see a man among the young Protes- 
tants in Syria who seems to promise anything like what is needed 

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312 Progress and Revival 

in a pastor for this church. The central position of Beirut will 
require the presence of an American missionary for some time 
to come, and it is not easy to satisfy the people with a native 
pastor while a foreign missionary is within reach. For this reason 
we steadily refused to send an American missionary to Hums. 
At length they were brought to the necessity of calling Sulleeba, 
their present pastor. While Hums was in this transition state we 
had to do our best to prevent any other foreign missionary going 
there, a point which we could not forcibly carry in Beirut, should 
we abandon the native church in order to oblige them to get a 
native pastor. I would like to see the experiment made, were it 
not that the English or Scotch would be only too glad of an 
excuse for introducing an Episcopal or other foreign missionary. 
This is the great bane in this holy land. It is the carcase for all 
the missionary eagles, and it seems doubtful whether any foreign 
mission could settle native pastors over native churches and then 
pull up stakes and leave entirely, without simply opening the 
way for the entrance of another foreign mission. Yet our duty 
is not modified by this state of things. We have two native 
pastors and hope for more. We will preach and pray and print 
books as long as the Lord allows us to labour here. I believe 
Syria will yet be evangelized and in the simple gospel way, and 
true churches be formed on every side. 

We feel the pressure as perhaps few missions do. Alas, how 
many bright hopes have been blasted on this arid S}rrian soil* 
How many young men of whom we had hopes that they would 
preach the Gospel have been tempted away by commerce or by 
higher pay in other missions, or become dragomen to travellers, 
or entered purely secular business. All missionaries feel that 
commercial centres and European communities in foreign lands 
are not favourable sites for the development of native inde- 
pendence in any sphere. The inland stations seem to assume 
more readily the principle of self-support and to demand a native 
ministry. I served the Beirut church nearly thirty years as 
acting pastor. 

In June, 1867, 1 endeavoured to persuade Rev. John Wortabet, 

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Turning the Tables on Dr. Crosby 313 

M. D., recently called to a medical professorship in the Beirut 
college, to accept the pastorship of the Beirut church, but he ab- 
solutely refused. Mr. Williams of Mardia assailed me by almost 
every post insisting that I leave the church to itself until it found 
a native pastor.^ The church consented to raise a sum annually 
equivalent to a pastor's salary and continued on this basis until 
1890, when, after a very plain talk by Dr. Arthur Mitchell they 
called Rev. Yusef Bedr to be their pastor. During that twenty 
years we were training native preachers but the mere mention of 
the Beirut church terrified them. ** There was Mr. So and So/' 
and so many high and lofty characters, each one of whom claimed 
to be the greatest, that young preachers refused to preach to 
them lest they be repressed and humiliated. 

A few months ago an elderly English lady, very deaf and de- 
crepit, took lodgings at the Bellevue Hotel in Beirut. She had 
come on to the Holy Land to witness the winding-up of the 
present dispensation. She prophesied a great earthquake in 
March which should destroy both London and Paris, and then 
Louis Napoleon would come to Beirut on a white horse leading 
the Jews back to the Holy Land. She laboured with some of us 
in the kindness of her heart and tried to persuade us to be ready 

*Whcn in New York, January ao, 1879, I was invited by Dr. H. 
Crosby to attend the New York ministers' Monday meeting at the Fourth 
Avenue Church, as the subject was to be, ** How can foreign missions 
best honour the Holy Spirit by promoting the independence of the native 
churches and ministry?" I went and Dr. Clark called on me to 
explain why the Beirut church had not a native pastor. I explained, 
and gave a history of my agonizing efforts in this direction and how the 
church was contributing almost enough for the pastor's salary, and that 
we should throw the burden on them as soon as the right man should 
be found. Dr. Clark replied that there was altogether too much sup- 
pression of the native element in foreign lands. Then one of the 
brethren, I think Dr. W. Phraner, called out, << And I would like to ask 
Dr. Crosby why it is that this Fourth Avenue Church has been for years 

suppressing the independence of its mission chapel in Street, and 

reporting its members as of the 1,300 members of the Fourth Avenue 
Church and ignoring the mission chapel which ought now to be inde- 
pendent and self-supporting." There was loud applause at Dr. Clark's 
having found himself in the same box as myself. 

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314 Progress and Revival 

for the coining of the Lord. We did all we could to answer her 
in Qiristian gentleness and printed some Arabic one-page tracts 
for her, containing Scripture texts about the certainty of death 
and similar themes. March came, but the earthquake did not^ 
nor did Napoleon, nor the white horse, nor the Jews, and she 
paid her passage back to England in bitter disappointment 

In November, Dr. Post came to Beirut and was the guest of 
Dr. and Mrs. Bliss in Beit Kamad in the eastern quarter of Beirut. 
Here he had a severe attack of brain fever and his life was de- 
spaired of. On the night of November i ith I watched with him, 
and the delirium of fever was very alarming. 

Dr. Post recovered, and took a trip up the Nile, where, owing 
to the bitterly cold desert winds at night, he had an attack of 
pneumonia, but was mercifully restored. His physicians and 
brethren now said to him, " Doctor, no man can carry two water- 
melons in one hand. You are carrying two professions, that of 
preacher and itinerant missionary, and that of surgeon and phy- 
sician. You must drop the one or the other." 

The claims of the college were then so pressing that he with- 
drew the following year from the mission and entered the service 
of the Syrian Protestant College. He then had one watermelon 
in his hand, but, none the less, he could not relinquish the other, 
and has done what the Arabic proverb declares impossible. He 
has been not only the most skillful surgeon of the Orient, but a 
preacher, teacher and the author of an Arabic zoology, con- 
cordance of the Bible, surgery, Bible dictionary, and the Flora of 
Syria and Palestine. 

Drs. Van Dyck and Wortabet were also elected professors in 
the medical college by the trustees in New York, and it began 
under the most favourable auspices. 

In the fall of 1866, our former mission printer, Mr. G. C. Hiuler, 
brought out for Boston merchants a cargo of kerosene oil and 
pine lumber. He introduced kerosene oil into Syria and thus 
conferred an untold blessing on the people. Before that time 
olive oil was the only oil used in lamps and it was becoming very 

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Miss Jessie Taylor 315 

The sale of the American Press to private parties was seriously 
urged by some members of the mission, but, providentially, it 
was never effected. As long as matters continue as they are in 
the East, it would not be wise to subject the whole matter of 
printing the Bible to the whims of local censors and policemen. 
It remains American property and will remain so for many years 
to come ; the very stronghold of truth and the fountain for send- 
ing out tens of millions of pages of God's Word every year in 
the future. 

In October I had correspondence with Rev. Benjamin Davies, 
of Regents' Park College, London, about obtaining a manuscript 
copy of the ** Kerm Sedde Kamus," a famous Arabic lexicon. A 
priest was engaged to copy it and another priest to copy the 
marginal notes, and the work required infinite pains in sending 
messengers, receiving the sheets and mailing them as they were 

Just as I had finished the girls' school building and installed 
the teachers in it I began to purchase stone and lime for the new 
church. Mr. William A. Booth, of New York, always our staunch 
and wise friend, sent out an architect's plan which was adopted, 
and we made preparations to carry on the work. Dr. Thomson 
and his son-in-law, Mr. James Black, took much of the burden, 
and Mr. Black's labours have been commemorated in a memorial 
baptismal font of white marble which adorns the church. 

Professor Morse, inventor of the telegraph, Mr. Geo. D. Phelps, 
of New York, and Mr. Henry Farnum, all residing in Paris, each 
sent $Soo towards the building of the Beirut church. 

This year (1866) a Scotch lady, Miss Jessie Taylor, came to 
Beirut and began work among the Moslem girls and women in 
the Bashura quarter of the city. By loving words and acts, caring 
for the sick and hungry and orphaned, she gained the confidence 
of the public Then she took a few needy girls into her own 
house as boarders and the work extended for forty years during 
which time she trained hundreds of girls in her home boarding- 
school. She was a woman of strong faith and courage and her 
pure, holy life exerted a powerful influence upon the community 

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3i6 Progress and Revival 

at large. In March, 1869, she had seventy-five Mohammedan 

The ilUiess of Dr. Post, the removal of Rev. Samuel Jessup 
from Tripoli to Sidon, and the absence of Mr. Sulleeba Jerawan, 
left the whole northern part of the mission field without super- 
vision, but the good seed grew and the church in Hums continued 
to prosper. 

The meteoric showers of November nth and 14th were 
notable events in Syrian history. My old college friend, 
Professor Newton, of Yale, had predicted a return of the periodic 
meteors or Leonids of 1833 in November nth to 14th, 1866. 
In order to draw the attention of the people to the subject, we 
published in the weekly Arabic journal a request to the public to 
watch during the nights of the 13th and 14th of November for a 
grand display of falling stars. The notice was read with wonder 
by some and ridicule by others. The venerable Sheikh Nasif el 
Yazigy, the greatest modern Arabic poet, and the assistant of 
Dr. Eli Smith in the translation of the Bible, declared that he 
would not believe it until he saw it, and that it was a piece of 
Western assumption to claim to know the future. On the morn- 
ing of Sunday, November 1 1 th, a little after midnight, some young 
men saw what they described as a rain of fire, the stars seeming 
to have got loose, and to be running about the sky in disorder. 
A few minutes after a terrific thunder-storm set in ; there was 
almost continuous thunder and lightning. On the two succeeding 
nights nothing was seen, as it was cloudy and rainy. I was watch- 
ing in the sick-room of Dr. Post, and although I looked out every 
hour in the night, I could see nothing in the shape of meteors. 
On the morning of the 14th, at three o'clock, I was roused from a 
deep sleep by the voice of one of our young men calling : " The 
stars are all coming down." I arose immediately, called our 
guests, Dr. Budington and Mr. E. P. Hammond, and we spent 
the rest of the night on the flat roof of the house watching the 
wonderful display. The meteors poured down like a rain of fire. 
Many of them were large and vari-coloured and left behind them 

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The Meteoric Shower 317 

a long train of fire. One immense green meteor came down over 
Lebanon seeming as large as the moon, and exploded with a loud 
noise, leaving a green pillar of light in its train. It was vain to 
attempt to count them and the display continued until the dawn 
when their light was obscured by the King of Day. The alarm 
was first given by a native watchman of the preparatory depart- 
ment of the Syrian Protestant College, who had heard of the ex- 
pected display and was on the lookout. The Mohammedans 
gave the call to prayer from the minarets, and the common people 
were in terror.* 

1867 — On Monday, January 7th, the Johanniter Hospital of 
the Knights of St John of Berlin was inaugurated at 2 p. 11. 
The German addresses were made by Count Wurtens Leben and 
Pastor Ebel, and the Arabic address by H. H. Jessup. Thus 
was begun a noble charity, which has continued for these forty-one 
years, a blessing to thousands of natives and hundreds of foreign- 
ers. In 1 87 1 the medical management was entrusted to the 
American medical professors of the Syrian Protestant College* 

January 26th I wrote to Dr. Holdich of the American Bible 
Society, asking permission to reprint the minim edition of the 
Arabic New Testament, as Dr. Van Dyck was then in New York 
and it would be long before that stnall edition could be electro- 
typed. I also stated that Ishoc, the colporteur, had visited 200 
villages and been severely beaten by a robber hired for the 
purpose by a Greek priest. The Protestants of Safita were 
persecuted almost to death by the Greek priests and feudal 
chiefs. A Moslem sheikh, owning two lots at each extremity of 
the village, sold out his land and all the land lying between to a 
Greek scribe in the village. Owing to bribery he got a deed 
of nearly every house in the village, and proceeded to eject the 
Protestants from the houses for which they had legal titles. 
For two years the persecution went on. One day the entire 

'On November 27, 1872, there was a similar fall of Leonids which 
continued from sunset till past midnight The display was brilliant in 
the extreme. 

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3i8 Progress and Revival 

body, men, women, and children, were seized by armed soldiers, 
and shut up in a small room where damp straw was set on fire, 
filling the room with dense smoke so that they were almost 
suffocated. Then, at midnight, they were driven out in a driving 
storm to sleep among the volcanic rocks on the mountainside. 
Through the interposition of the British Consul-General Eldridge, 
Kamil Pasha of Beirut sent stringent orders which gave the 
brethren peace for the time being. The Syrian ecclesiastics, 
with rare exceptions, have been bitter enemies of the Gospel ; 
using stripes, imprisonment, torture, and cruel oppression with- 
out compunction. But the Gospel has moved steadily on, and 
now in diat district between Tripoli and Hums are prosperous 
churches, among the largest in Sjnria. 

Revival iNaoENTS 

My first Arabic teacher in Tripoli in 1856 was YusefDiab, 
who had sixteen years before been Mr. Gdhoun's teacher in 
Bhamdoun. He knew no grammar, but was a voluble talker 
and story-teller, and helped me greatly in enlarging my vocabu- 
lary. But I soon had need of a grammatical teacher and found 
one, Elias Saadeh, among the crowd of young men who used to 
throng our houses on feast days and Sundays. He had studied 
Arabic . grammar and logic with the learned Moslem sheikh, 
Owad, and regarded himself as a champion among the Greeks. 
He was a special favourite with the Greek bishop who saw in 
him a hopeful candidate for the priesthood. He respected our 
civilization and could not conceal his wonder at our libraries, 
but regarded our religion as little better than Islam. He often 
said to the Greeks, " Far better turn Moslem than Protestant ; 
these Protestants have no priests, nor sacrifice, nor saints, nor 
Virgin Mary. They are heretics." 

He consented to teach for the sake of the money. Month by 
month he taught us. We read the Arabic Testament with him 
from beginning to end. He attended our family prayers and 
listened with respect, yet with no more apparent feeling than a 
stone. He was a fine penman and when I commenced writing 

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Elias Saadeh 319 

Arabic sennons he copied them all out in a clear, legible hand 
and I read them in the pulpit ; but after writing a dozen sermons, 
I began to preach untrammelled by manuscript, using only brief 
notes in Arabic and English. 

Elias continued to teach Mr. Lyons and myself until i860, the 
dreadful massacre year, when I removed to Beirut. Up to that 
time he seemed unimpressed and unimpressible on the subject 
of personal religion. He had given up saint worship and picture 
worship as beneath the dignity of an enlightened man, and ^see- 
ing diat they were essential parts of the Greek Orthodo^qr, he 
gave up all religion and became an open scoffing infidel Among 
the young men of Tripoli he taught that Christ was an impostor, 
and the Bible a lie. He had stifled the promptings of conscience 
and seemed given over to hardness of heart He then taught 
a grammar school for the Greeks in a village near Tripoli, and 
when Rev. Samuel Jessup and Dr. George E. Post began work 
in Tripoli in 1863-^4, ^^ taught them Arabic and continued 
through the cholera season of 1865. Previous to this he had 
spent some time in Hums where he became acquainted with 
Asaad, and Miriam, his sister, who were apparently the only 
fruit thus far of the faithful labours of Rev. D. M. Wilson and 
wife for five years. Asaad and Miriam were persecuted, and she 
was dragged through the streets by the hair of her head because 
she would not worship the pictures (the ikons) of the Greek 
Church. Elias married her and in 1866 removed to Beirut and 
taught a boys' day-school for us. He was still proud and con- 
ceited, quoting Arabic poetry, and displaying his knowledge of 
grammar and logic among the young men, but utterly without 
feeling on the subject of religion. We had prayed with him and 
for him and all seemingly to no effect. The missionaries in 
Tripoli regarded him as intellectually a Protestant, but in fact 
an infidel. Miriam taught their little son Hanna to pray, but 
Eliat would not allow it to be done in his presence. He used 
the New Testament in the school, but had no appreciation of its 
spirit and its saving truths. He was always at church on Sunday 
and sat with the collq;e students because he thought it respect- 

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320 Progress and Revival 

able to be among students, but he seemed hardened in heart and 
I began to doubt whether we had done right in bringing him to 
Beirut to teach. But I continued to pray for him without 

On Monday p. ic., November 12, 1866, Elias Saadeh called 
at my house, knocked at the door, came into my room and sat 
down on the divan (mukod) by the door in silence, his face 
buried in his hands. At length I said to him, ** What is the 
matter, Elias ? '' He looked up and said, ** I know that you are 
my friend. I am in trouble, great trouble, and I don't know 
what to do. I have never felt so before in my life. What is the 
matter I cannot tell. I went to church yesterday afternoon and 
when I came out my hair stood on end and I trembled from 
head to foot As I passed through the gate it seemed as if the 
ground were opening beneath my feet and I could feel the fires 
of hdl. Just then a voice came from above saying, ' You are a 
lost man ! you are a lost man T And then, as I went on towards 
my house I could see those Arabic sermons which I copied for 
you and Mr. Lyons ten years ago, written as with a pen of fire 
on the sky. I shut my eyes but there they were. When I 
reached home I could hear nothing else, see nothing else. I 
could eat no supper. Miriam said to me, * What is the matter, 
Elias ? ' I replied, ' Nothing, only I do not feel very well.' At 
bedtime I took little Hanna to put him to bed and he looked up 
in my face and said, ' Ya abi laish ma b'tsully mithel Imme kobl 
en noum ? ' ' Father, why don't you pray with me as mother 
does before sleeping ? ' It seemed as if God had raised up my 
little child to rebuke me and remind me of my sin. And so it 
was all night long. I could not sleep ; that voice was ringing in 
my ears, ' You are a lost man.' This morning I went to school, 
but I could near nothing and see nothing, and so it has been all 
day and if it keeps on much longer I shall lose my reason. Sir, 
what shall I do ? I have never felt so before in my life. What 
does it mean ? " All this time he sat trembling and spoke with 
a faltering voice. I said to him, " Elias, you do not know how 
glad I am to hear these words from you. You do not know 

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Digitized by 


"All" Sins Means Mine Too 321 

how many prayers have been offered for you during the last ten 
years, and now you ought to fall down and thank God that He 
has sent His Holy Spirit to show you your sins. You will never 
see the sweetness of Christ until you first feel the bitterness of 
sin. I hope you will feel your sins even more than you have 
and cast yourself upon Christ for mercy. Ellas, have you prayed ? " 
" Prayed ? " said he. " A man like me pray to Christ when I 
have so grossly insulted Him ? When I have called Him an 
impostor and His word a lie? Never." I then said, << Would 
you like to have me pray ? " " Yes/' said he, ** if you think it 
will do any good." We knelt in prayer, but I could hardly 
control my feelings so as to speak audibly. When we arose he 
bade me " good-evening " and left the room. 

I saw him no more until the next afternoon at four o'clock, 
when he came in again, his face beaming with a light almost un- 
natural. I never saw a human countenance so changed. Every 
feature seemed softened and luminous. He almost sprang to- 
wards me and seizing my hand with a grasp which I can never 
forget, he exclaimed, '< Oh, Mr. Jessup, is it not wonderful ? Was 
there ever such love? Last night I took up the Testament to 
see if I could find anything to relieve my despair when the first 
passage I saw was this in the first epistle of John, < The blood of 
Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.' Why, sir, if that 
word * all ' had not been there I should have had no hope. But 
there it was, ' all sin.' That meant mine too. The words seemed 
to glow with light. They stood out on the page. I looked and 
wept. ' Can it be,' I said, ' can it be that Jesus whom I have re- 
viled will cleanse my sin ? Is He so merciful as that ? ' And 
then I looked up and said, ^ Oh, Thou blessed Jesus Christ, if Thou 
wilt accept of me. Thy blood can cleanse my sin. Then I am 
Thine forever.' Oh, sir, it seems to me as if heaven had begun 
on earth. I called Miriam and told her, and we wept and prayed 
together. It seemed so natural to pray then. I could not help 
it. Mr. Jessup, is it not wonderful ? Is it not wonderful that 
He has spared me until now? Why did He not cut me ofTten. 
years ago in my sins ? Why did He not smite me when I was 

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322 Progress and Revival 

reviling His name ? What shall I do ? What can I do? There 
are young men in Tripoli whom I taught that the Bible is a lie 
and some of them are dead now. Oh» that I could call them 
back and tell them of the Saviour's love. Do you not think that 
I had better go at once to Tripoli by the first steamer and speak 
to those young men ? Oh, if I could but be the means of saving 
one soul I should be perfectly happy." I said to him, '' Elias, 
would you like to pray now ? " ** Yes, indeed/' said he, and he 
prayed such a prayer as I had not heard for many months. We 
spent that hour in prayer and praise. Now and then he would 
burst out in some new expression of wondering love. Said he, 
^ When I read the Bible now the name of Jesus seems so new 
and so sweet that I can hardly contain myself." I asked him if 
he had never seen that verse in i John i : 7 before, *' The blood 
of Jesus Christ His Son deanseth us from all sin." He said, '* I 
copied a sermon on that text, but I did not know its meaning 
then, but now I do." 

I saw that he needed something to do now for Christ, and as 
he could not well leave for Tripoli I urged him to labour for some 
of the young men in Beirut whom he knew. Said he, ** I know 
a few and I will try to do them good." 

On Wednesday afternoon he came in again bringing with him 
another young man» Beshara Haddad. I had known him for 
years. He was the first Protestant child baptized in Syria, and 
his aged father, a saintly man, was one of the first who came out 
on the Lord's side long years ago and went through the fires of 
persecution which raged so violently in the days of Jonas King, 
Isaac Bird, and the martyr Asaad es Shidiak from 1826 to 1830. 
The good old man died a few years previous, mourning that his 
first-bom Beshara had not yet found the Saviour. Beshara had 
been trained under Mr. Calhoun in Abeih Seminary and was 
now teaching in the preparatory department of the S}rrian Prot- 
estant College. 

After a few words of salutation I turned and said, " Beshara, 
what brought you here to-day ? " He said, " I think God brought 
me here. I had long known the truth, but I had hardened my 

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Beshara Haddad 323 

heart and at length came to the conclusion that I had committed 
the unpardonable sin. But a few Sabbaths ago I heard you 
preach on that subject, and you said that if any one had a desire 
to be free from sin it was a proof that he had not committed the 
impardonable sin. Well, I thought I did desire to be free from 
sin, and I thought it over more and more, and last Sabbath I de- 
termined that diis week I would begin to think of my soul's sal- 
vation. Yesterday I decided to give up the hour after eight in 
the evening to this subject, as my school duties would be over 
and I could be alone. So I went to my room at eight o'clock 
and shut the door. Very soon there was a knock. I hesitated, 
then opened the door. In came Mr. Elias Saadeh. My heart 
sank within me. I thought, 'Why has he come to take my 
time ? He is the last man in Beirut I would wish just now to 
see. He has come to jest about religious things and all my good 
resolutions will be lost' But to my surprise Elias stepped up 
to me and seized my hand and said with a trembling voice, 
* Beshara, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from 
all sin.' I could not guess what he meant, and thought he was 
quoting Scripture to ridicule it ; but he held my hand tight in his 
and said again, * Beshara, it is so, and it has cleansed me and I 
have come to tell you about it.' If the very stones in the floor 
had cried out I could not have been more astonished. I fell on 
his neck and wept We wept together ; we prayed together. I 
believe that God sent him there at that very hour to bring me to 
Christ The Saviour Himself seemed to be present Oh, sir, 
such an hour I have never known! Well, after we had 
prayed a while I told Elias, * There is Ibrahim Nasif Aatiyeh 
in the next room ; let us call him in and see if he too does not 
want a Saviour.' So we called him and prayed with him and to- 
day he thinks he has found the Saviour, and he will be here very 

I listened to Beshara's words with the most intense interest, the 
tears flowing unbidden and unrestrained. Soon Ibrahim came in 
and we spent an hour such as I had never spent before in Syria. 
The Saviour Himself seemed to be with us. 

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324 Progress and Revival 

The young brethren wanted something to do and they found 
it. The city was divided into districts, and they went around 
two and two holding evening meetings, praying and singing, and 
reading the Scriptures in families where the voice of prayer and 
praise had not been heard before. The prayer-meetings of the 
brethren of the church were more numerously attended and ere 
long eleven young persons stood up in the great congregation 
and professed their faith in Christ 

When the church session were assembled to examine candi- 
dates for admission to the church, there came among them a 
rough, rustic youth about sixteen years of age, an entire stranger 
to us all. Deacon Fuaz proposed that he be informed of the nature 
of the meeting and be asked to retire, but we decided at length to 
allow him to stay and listen, hoping that he might receive some 
benefit. Late in the evening, when the examination was concluded 
and we were about to close with prayer, I turned to the young man 
and said to him, " What is your name ? " " Hanna Bedr." " Where 
are you from?" "From Shweir, Mount Lebanon." "What 
are you doing in Beirut ? " " Working in the stone quarries." 
" Why did you come here to- night ? " "I came because you gave 
notice in the church that all who wished to confess Christ before 
men should come here to-night and I wish to confess Christ, so I 
came." " Well, Hanna, when did you first learn about Christ?" 
" Not long ago. You see my brother Yusef is in the Abeih Semi- 
nary and when I was in the mountains last summer he came home 
for a vacation, and said to me, ' Hanna, it will never do for you to 
live on in this way. You must trust in Christ and follow Him or 
you will be lost forever. You must read the Gospel and there 
you will find it all plain.' I told him I could not read. Then he 
said he would teach me, and he taught me the alphabet and I be- 
gan, and when I returned to the quarries I began to read at noon 
and at night and I found it all just as Yusef said. Then I came 
to the mission church and heard the preaching and it was all 
the same, all about Christ, and I knew it was true. One day as 
I was reading I found these words, * Come unto Me all ye that 
labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest' That, I 

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Hanna Bedr 325 

thought, is the Saviour for me. So I said to Him, ' Jesus, if you 
will give me rest, then I will be yours/ " 

Said I to him, " Do not the quarrymen persecute you ? " 
" Yes," said he, " they stone me and curse me." •< Do you then 
curse them again ? " ** How can I ? I only wish they knew 
what I know ; they know no better." 

«< Well, Hanna, do you ever pray ? " 

** Yes, sometimes I say, ' Our Father,' and then I pray a little 
prayer of my own. I say, * Oh, Lord Jesus, I'm poor Hanna 
Bedr. I don't know much. I am a sinner. You said, " Come 
unto Me," and so I come to you. Amen.' Is that right ? " 

*' Yes," said I, *' Hanna, that is right But what do you mean 
by confessing Christ ? " 

'* Why, I mean that if the Lord has done so much for me, I am 
not ashamed to tell the world of it." 

The old deacon turned to me and said, " This poor, rough boy 
whom we were going to turn away has passed as satisfactory an 
examination as any one to-night." 

Elias soon after left for Tripoli and laboured in the villages and 
city, teaching the missionaries, proclaiming the Saviour whom he 
once despised and preaching the faith which he once destroyed. 
He became the Arabic teacher of nine successive missionaries in 
Tripoli. His son Najib, after receiving his theological diploma in 
June, 1 888, preached with great acceptance until his untimely death 
in February, 1893. Several years later, Elias with his wife joined 
his children, who were in business in New York and he was chosen 
pastor of the Syrian Evangelical Congregation there, and won all 
hearts, not only by his polished Arabic sermons, but by his godly 
exemplary life. One Sunday in November, 1902, when on his 
way from Brooklyn to New York to preach, he dropped dead in 
the street, and went to see his glorified Redeemer. He had the 
sermon he was to preach in his pocket, from the text Job 4:5: 
** But it is come upon thee and thou faintest ; it toucheth thee 
and thou art troubled." It was a remarkable providence that 
Rev. Geo. E. Post landed in New York the very day of the 
funeral and made the funeral address in Arabic to a large 

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326 Progress and Revival 

assembly of SyHans in the Old First Presbyterian Church on 
Fifth Avenue. 

Beshara soon after went to Latakia to labour with the Re- 
formed Presbyterian Mission for the pagan Nusairiyeh and 
laboured faithfully for many years. He died December 21, 1873. 

Mr. Beshara el Haddad, eldest son of Tannoos el Haddad, a 
name memorable in the early annals of the Syrian Mission, died 
recently a triumphant Christian death» glorying in the Cross of 
Christ. He was educated in the Abeih Seminary, and when a bay, 
although not of brilliant intellectual abilities, was of an amiable and 
upright disposition. In 1866 he was engaged in teaching in Mr« 
Bistany's high school, which was then the preparatory school for 
the Syrian Protestant College, in Beirut. In November the 
Spirit of God visited us and a number of young men were con- 
verted, among them Moallim Beshara. His conviction of sin was 
deep and thorough and he was driven to the very verge of de- 
spair, almost believing that he had committed the unpardonable 
sin. At length light dawned upon his mind and he took a de- 
cided stand as a Christian, and has now for five years been teach- 
ing in the mission high school in Latakia, having for his pupils 
youth from the pagan Nusairiyeh. Two months since he came 
to Beirut sufTering from a cancerous affection, and on Sunday, 
December 21st, entered into his rest. He said, a few hours be- 
fore his death, " Jesus is my Friend. I know He is my Saviour." 
He called his widowed mother, his wife, and his two sons, Rashid 
and Tannoos, and his sister Sara, and laying his hands on die 
heads of the little boys, bade them all a loving farewell, rejoicing 
that he would so soon be with Christ his Saviour. He was pe- 
culiarly grateful to those who had been the means of his conver- 
sion, and one day he exclaimed, " Welcome; dear brother, you led 
me to Christ, you led me to Christ" 

Ibrahim Aatiyeh is still living, having been a successful 
teacher and faithful evangelist under the charge of the British 
Syrian Mission among the pastoral Arabs of the coast, and 
among the soldiers and gendarmes of the Lebanon government 

Hanna Bedr, after serving as a volunteer in the Lebanon in* 

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A Barrel of Snakes 327 

&otry, resigned and went to Abeih to study to fit himself to 
preach to the Bedawin Arabs; but in the summer of 1871 was 
prostrated with quick consumption and after a religious experi- 
ence which made his sick-room luminous and attractive, he 
passed away in triumph to meet his Lord and Saviour. 

Prof. K D. Cope of Philadelphia wrote asking me to send him 
a barrel of snakes and fish in alcohol. I hired a deaf and dumb 
Druse named Hassan, a snake charmer, to bring me snakes. 
One day on returning home I saw him standing in the court 
with a leather bag fuU of snakes. In order to exhibit his goods 
he loosened the string and let the whole squirming mass out 
upon the floor. I made good my escape up-stairs, shutting the 
door behind me, and motioning to him to gather them up. 
Looking down from the flat roof I saw him seize the last one, 
and when I went down he emptied them into the cask of spirits. 
His sign language and mimicry in describing how he caught 
these snakes were extremely amusing. I was relieved when the 
cask was full, headed up and shipped to Professor Cope. The 
entire cost of snakes, alcohol, small animals, and barrel was 
twenty dollars. 

On the 2i8t of March we had a visit from what seemed an 
apparition. I had read when a boy of General Jackson's admin- 
istration and of his postmaster-general, as though characters of 
ancient history. When Amos Kendall was announced, I 
thought it must be his grandson, but it was the veritable vener- 
able Amos with his son-in-law, Mr. Stickney, his wife, and son. 
It seemed as if Andrew Jackson had risen from the dead and 
was visiting this ancient land of shadows. It was interesting to 
see a man of seventy-eight years, General Jackson's old postmaster- 
general, riding on a Syrian horse through the Holy Land with 
no more fatigue than his grandson. He has climbed Vesuvius, 
the dome of St. Peter's, and in Beirut declined the ofler of a cane 
as it was an incumbrance. He was a devout man, a Baptist. 
He showed the greatest interest in the girls' school and the 
college with its sixteen freshmen and eighty preparatory 

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328 Progress and Revival 

Another of what seemed to be periodical panics among the 
Christians of Damascus broke out early in March. The pasha» 
in order to raise funds to help the suffering Moslems of Crete, 
whose villages had been plundered by the Greeks and many of 
them killed, issued an inflammatory placard asking for help; 
calling on the Moslems «<to remember the blood of their 
martyred brethren who had been killed by those beasts, the 
Greeks/' etc. The Damascus Moslems were greatly excited and 
began to threaten the Christians who fled by hundreds to the 
mountains and Beirut, fearing a repetition of the massacre of 
i860. The consuls remonstrated with the pasha, who saw his 
error, and ordered all the placards to be removed and soldiers to 
be stationed in the Christian quarter, but it was a long time be- 
fore confidence could be restored. We say, '^A burnt child 
dreads the fire." The Arab proverb has it, " One bitten by a 
snake is frightened by the shaking of a rope." 

There is something about the fanaticism of a Moslem rabble 
which is akin to frenzy. The elderly and graver Moslem 
sheikhs dread an uprising as it will bring disaster upon them, 
selves and their property, but they are equally intolerant with 
the lowest class and to all of them, all non-Moslems are infidels 
and enemies. 

A beautiful incident occurred recently in Northern Syria. A 
few weeks since, the colporteur, Ishoc, of the American Bible 
Society, visited a dark Maronite village where he had heard 
there was a man who had a Testament On knocking at the 
door he was met by a man over sixty years of age, with only 
one eye and wearing glasses. He had a Testament in his hand, 
and when Ishoc told him he was a brother in the Gospel, who 
was going about to preach and sell Scriptures, he burst into 
tears, embraced him, and wept aloud. He had never before seen 
a missionary, nor had he seen the Old Testament, and his joy was 
intense. He called in his friends and neighbours to rejoice with 
him, and an old man of ninety blessed God he had seen the 
whole Bible before he died. Some twelve men in that village 
have become enlightened through that one Testament, without 

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Beha Allah— The Babite 329 

ever seeing a missionary. They are now undergoing severe 
persecution, and some of them have been driven from their 
homes by the violence of the papal priests. 

An extraordinary document reached Beirut April 3d, 
addressed to the United States consul, from fifty-three Persians in 
Bagdad, petitioning the United States Congress for the release 
of their leader, Beha Allah, the Babite Persian reformer, who 
appeared in 1843, and was followed by thousands, 30,000 of whom 
were killed by the Shah of Persia. He was arrested in Bagdad 
by the Turkish government, and is now (1867) in prison in 
Adrianople, European Turkey. His particular doctrine is " the 
universal brotherhood of man." The petitioners claim that they 
number 40,000. A German traveller writes from Bagdad en- 
closing the petition and speaks admiringly of the reformer, and 
asks for his release on the ground of religious liberty which is 
now granted by the Sultan to all his subjects. One of the 
documents appended to the petition is signed with a Free 
Masonic Seal. 

Ishoc Shemmaa, the colporteur of the American Bible Society, 
was reading the Bible in the public square of Beirut when a 
great crowd of some 200 people assembled to listen. Some 
street boys began to shout and make a disturbance and Ishoc 
rose to leave, the crowd following. Kamil Pasha, governor of 
the city, was standing near by in a shop door and called to Ishoc, 
and asked him what he was doing to create such a crowd. 
Ishoc, holding up a Bible, said, " Your Excellency, I am selling 
God's Word and the people wished to hear it read ; this is the 
cause of the crowd, and some have made a disturbance." The 
pasha said, '' It is a good book," and sent his guard to disperse 
the disturbers of the peace.* 

This pasha afterwards became grand vizier, and held the office 

* This was our first knowledge of the " Bab." In June, 1901, I pub- 
lished in the Outlook an account of these Babites, and my interview at 
Haifa, with Abbas Efiendi, son of Beha Allah, and present head of the 
Babites. His doctrines are a mixture of Sufisra, Islam, and Chris- 
tianity. His followers believe him to be a divine incarnation. 

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33Q Progress and Revival 

for twelve years, and is now in his old age Waly of Smyrna. 
He was a level-headed, liberal man, and loved to see fair play, 
and hated the persecuting spirit of the Oriental church ecclesias- 
tics. He once said to me when I renuurked that all hoped he 
would one day become grand vizier (prime minister), " I have no 
ambition that way. That is the summit, and beyond that there 
is only descent" (1909 — He was made grand vizier under the 
new constitutional government) 

In May I received a visit from one of the most saintly women 
I have ever known, Mrs. Walter Baker, of Dorchester, Mass., and 
with her were two young men, choice spirits, Edward G. Porter, 
and Isaac N. Cochran. Mrs. Baker was my guest together with 
Dr. and Mrs. Post, and the young men were at the hotel. Mrs. 
Baker insisted upon my going as her guest to Damascus, Baal* 
bee, and the Baruk Cedars, and I was afterwards her guest in 
Paris and Dorchester. She became the steadfast friend of our 
girls' boarding-school and the mission. She paid the whole sup- 
port of Miss Eliza D. Everett, the first American teacher in the 
Beirut school, for two years, until the school was taken up by the 
Woman's Board of the Presbyterian Church. 

What made her friendship especially charming to me was the 
fact that she was the warm friend of my two very dear college 
classmates, Dr. Theodore T. Munger and Dr. James G. Vose. 
Dr. Munger in his early ministry was called to the Dorchester 
church, and Mrs. Baker invited him to spend Sunday with her. 
He accepted and remained with her for seven years, reminding 
one of Dr. Watts who lived with Sir Thomas Abney for thirty- 
six years. 

On my way to America in November, 1867, she introduced 
me to Dr. Jonas King of Athens, and the French Protestant 
pastors, as I have elsewhere narrated. 

On June 5th the corner-stone of the new Beirut church was 
laid, with religious services. Mrs. W. M. Thomson laid the 
corner-stone. The northeast corner had been left open to re- 
ceive it as more than half the walls were built. In the comer- 
stone were placed an Arabic Bible, the constitution of the native 

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-v-^ -V 

Dedicating the New Church 331 

churchy list of American missionaries from the beginnings list of 
the Anglo-American Congregation, Arabic journals of Beirut* 
Constantinople, Damascus, and B'teddin, list of publications of the 
American Press, and a list of Protestant institutions in Beirut in 
1867. The church was dedicated March 28, 1869, after my re- 
turn from America. Before sailing from America for Syria in 
October, 1868, with my family, I had shipped a fine bell, the 
gift of the Scranton people, and a ^1,200 tower clock, given by 
the Madison Square Church in New York. But the building 
funds were exhausted when the tower was but half finished, and 
neither clock nor bell could be set up. The citizens of Beirut, 
Moslems, Christians, and Jews, were so anxious to see and hear a 
clock whose striking could be heard throughout the city, that a 
local subscription was raised, through the influence of James 
Black, Esq., and the tower was completed. Thus the Mohammed- 
ans who abominate bells, and the Jews who dislike Christian 
churches, contributed to the erection of a Christian bell-tower. 
And when the clock was finally in place and began to strike the 
hours, crowds of people gathered in the streets to hear the mar- 
vellous sound. 

Since then, five different tower clocks have been set up in 
Beirut, one of them near our church at the Turkish barracks, and 
others at the Syrian Protestant College, the railroad station, the 
Jesuit College, and the French Hospital. Thus in this, as in 
many other matters, the Americans set the pace and others fol- 
lowed their example. 

The funds have been contributed thus far by the American 
Board of Missions, the Kirk of Scotland, friends in England and 
America, the Native Evangelical Church, and the Anglo-Ameri- 
can Congregation, representing at least seven different denomi- 
nations, thus presenting a united and harmonious front to the 
many enemies of the gospel faith in S}rria and proving that 
Christian union in worship and service is possible. Upon the 
advent of the ritualistic Bishop Blyth of Jerusalem, however, 
most of the Church of England people withdrew, and set up a 
schismatic chapel of their own. I use the word " schismatic," as 

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332 Progress and Revival 

it is a word the <' Anglicans " love to apply to all outside their 
own sect.^ 

At this time, Mr. Calhoun, in addition to his school duties in 
Abeih, was teaching a theological class of five young men, four 
of whom were M. Yusef Bedr, M. Yusef Aatiyeh, M. Yusef 
Shaheen, and M. Abdullah Rasi. 

H. K Daud Pasha, at the last Easter, was called upon by the 
magistrates of the town of Deir el Komr including the Catholic 
bishops and priests. In reply to their congratulations he said 
that he had one criticism to make upon them as the spiritual 
guides of the people. '* And what is that ? " they exclaimed. 
*' It is that all the shops of your parishioners are kept open on 
Sunday and business goes on as usual, greatly to the detriment 
of the people." The priests replied, " Your Excellency, this 
greatly grieves us, but really we have not the power to stop this 
evil. The people will not obey us." *• Then," said the pasha, 
** I will help you, and next Sunday any man who opens his shop 
will be imprisoned." The order was issued, and, after a few ar- 
rests, the nuisance was abated, and this notorious stronghold of 
papal intolerance had externally a well-kept Sunday every week. 

At this time, the Sultan Abdul Aziz went to the Paris Expo- 
sition taking gifts to the Empress Eugenie to the value of 
^300,000. As an of&et, new taxes, grievous to be borne, are 
being levied on the people of the empire. 

Rev. Samuel S. Mitchell and wife arrived in Beirut in June, 
as recruits for our missionary force. His wife (Lucy Wright) 
was born in Persia, daughter of a missionary, and they both gave 
promise of a life of usefulness, but feeble health soon compelled their 
withdrawal. Mrs. Mitchell afterwards studied the " History of 
Art," lectured in Florence and Berlin, and published a book (Dodd 

* When 1 was visiting Canon Tristram in December, 1864, he 
preached in Hartlepool one evening and took me with him. Passing 
along the street, he pointed to a plain building, sa3ring, " That is 
Sc)iism comer," referring to the Methodist chapel. Years afterwards 
we were walking together in Beirut, and as we neared the Church of 
England chapel, I said to him, " That is Schism comer t " He saw the 
point and enjoyed having the tables tumed upon him. 

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Blood Will Tell 333 

& Meadi New York) which has become a standard work on art 
Mr. Mitchell attained some celebrity as a landscape painter. 

On June 22d the annual examination of the girls' school was 
held. Seventy-five girk were examined in three languages for four 
days, and no such examination had ever before been held in 
Syria. Khuri Jebara, a Greek priest who was present, delivered 
a very excellent Arabic address highly eulogistic of the American 
missionaries and their work in Syria. Such an address had never 
before been heard in Syria. He publicly thanked the missionaries 
for the Arabic Bible and other good books and for their schools 
and seminaries. This same priest purchased sixty copies of Ed- 
wards' " History of Redemption " in Arabic and gave them to his 

In August I bought a snow-white mare of a native friend by 
recommendation from my reliable friend, Dr. Daniel Bliss. It 
was a beautiful creature with a pedigree, and I bought it '« un- 
sight unseen," as it was in Lebanon in Abeih, and I was in 
Beirut The owner, hearing that I was in Aleih, at Dr. Post's 
house, sent the mare over there. Mrs. Post was at a loss what 
to do with such a fiery creature. A young missionary who 
vras her guest finally consented to ride her to Beirut, although he 
had no experience in riding. She went quietly enough the 
mile to the Damascus carriage road, but there, alas, she saw a 
white canvas-topped cart for the first time in her life, and then 
another, and the noisy train came rattling and thundering along, 
until she was beside herself, and she sprang forward over the 
broad macadamized road Beirut-wards. Her rider, paralyzed 
with fright, dropped the reins and seized the saddle pommel 
with both hands. The mare flew ahead on a dead run, past the 
sixteenth kilometer stone, then the fifteenth and on to the fifth 
and fourth, but just at the second near the Beirut pine grove, a 
blockade of camels stopped her. The rider slipped oflf and let 
her go, and she went on arching her neck and snuffing at her 
first glimpse of a Syrian city. 

He walked on, lame, bruised, and demoralized. About 3 p. m. 
I heard a knock at my door. There stood Mr. . He 

Digitized by 


334 Progress and Revival 

called out in a faint voice, << Has the mare got here?" *« What 
mare ? " I replied. " Why, your new white mare." He then 
told the story, and I found that if he had not broken his neck he 
had broken all records of Syrian horse-racing. I then told him 
I had never seen the mare and that she had never been in Beirut 
and how should she know my house ? I called Assaf, my trusty 
servant, and sent him at once to the public •' Place de Canon ** 
or << Bufj " where the Damascus Road enters the city. In half an 
hour he broi^ht her drenched and heated to her new home. But 
she was too aristocratic for me. She danced and pranced, with 
curved neck and flying mane and wanted to gallop through die 
streets. It exhausted my strength to hold her in, and at length 
I sold her to Consul Lorenzo Johnson whom she threw over her 
head three times on the sand-dunes and as this did not comport 
with consular dignity he sold her to a Lebanon sheikh. 

In a letter to the eccentric but sensible Mr. Williams, of Mardin, 
I alluded to interference with our schools by other societies, who 
virtually bribed the children to go to their schools, — and said, ^* I 

am not willing to surrender to the fruits of the American 

Mission's thirty years' toil. My rule is never to fight but if you 
aire forced to fight, fight it out on a straight line. The Arabs 
say, ' The camel never faUs down but when he does fall he never 
gets up again.' The Syrians are an independent race, but they 
have been demoralized by having too much done for them and 
some of them see it and feel it We must now try to remoralize 
them. They cannot manage to support first-class institutions 
as yet, but everything ebe they ought to support." 

In August, 1867, Dr. Thomson returned from England much 
improved in health. On September 30th, Dr. Post and family 
sailed for America, and on his arrival he resigned his connection 
with the American Board, having been appointed Professor of 
Surgery in the Syrian Protestant College. 

On October 20th Dr. Van Dyck and family arrived from the 
United States. He brought with him duplicate electrotype plates 
of the vowelled Bible. Mr. Samuel Hallock came with him as 
electrotyper and mechanical superintendent of the press. 

Digitized by 


Miss Evcritt — Found on Furlough 335 

In November, Rev. Isaac N. Lowry and wife arrived from 
America and were stationed with Mr. and Mrs. S. Mitchell in 
Tripoli. As Mr. Mitchell left the mission in the summer of 1868, 
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Jessup were again transferred from Sidon 
to Tripoli. 

The excursion steamship Quaker City, Giptain Duncan, arrived 
with Mr. Moses S. Beach and << Mark Twain " on board, on Sep- 
tember loth. I had engaged for a party of them a dragoman 
for Baalbec and Damascus, and went on board. By order of the 
mission I presented to each one a gilt copy of the Arabic 
New Testament. Thirty of them visited the girls' school and 
Dr. Beach gave two hundred dollars for the school and the new 

Owing to the return of Drs. Thomson and Van Dyck, and 
the fact that Dr. Wortabet was also to be in Beirut, the brethren 
of the mission and the secretaries of the American Board in 
Boston insisted on my going this fall to America, as I was 
nervously broken down, and a sufierer from acute insomnia. I 
was the more willing to go as my absence would facilitate the 
securing of a native pastor for the Beirut church. Yet the ties 
which bound me to the Syrian people old and young were not 
easily broken and I dreaded the parting scenes. I handed over 
all the lines and threads of work to Dr. Thomson. 

Miss Ruf ka Gregory, the Syrian lady who taught in the Beirut 
Syrian Girls' School for five years, and who was the ablest Syrian 
teacher of modern times, was quite broken in health in July, 1867, 
and we gave her a six months' furlough to visit friends in Egypt. 
While there she made the acquaintance of Rev. Mr. Muir, of 
Melbourne, Australia, married him and went to Melbourne to 
live, where, after his early death, she conducted a successful 
school for girls for many years. 

With her departure it became necessary to secure an Ameri- 
can teacher. I count it one of the providential reasons of my 
being sent to America in October, 1867, that I was able to find 
Miss Eliza D. Everett, the accomplished and consecrated lady 
who came to Beirut with me in October, 1868, and laboured in 

Digitized by 


336 Progress and Revival 

Syria for twenty-five years in the Beirut Female Seminary with 
remarkable acceptance and success. 

I sailed from Beirut October 22d, and arrived in Paris November 
5th. In Paris I found my friends, Mr. Frederic Marquand and Mrs. 
Baker. Mrs. Baker insisted on my being her guest in the Rue St. 
Arnaud, and Rev. Edward Porter obtained a permit and took 
me to see the Paris Exposition which had been closed to the 
public for six days. We spent five hours there and I saw 
the missionary exhibit and a set of the Arabic books of our 
Beirut Press. Returning we called on Dr. Jonas King and Mrs. 
King of Athens. He returned the call and brought me an invi- 
tation from Count Laborde to speak at the missionary reception 
to be given the next day by the Paris Evangelical Society to Dr. 
King whom they sent as their missionary to Syria in October, 
1822. That night I was very ill but recovered so as to attend the 
meeting at the Salle Evangdique at 4 p. m. M. Grandpierre pre- 
sided. Dr. King spoke in French of his life in Syria and Greece 
I spoke of the present state of the work in Syria and Pastor 
Fische interpreted. Among those present were Pressense, De 
Casalis and Monod. 

Taking the midnight train to Brest, I embarked November 9th 
on the 5/. Laurent, The ship was crowded. We had two hun- 
dred and sixty in the second class in the bows of the ship. The 
voyage was terrific and the ship rolled violently, but I was per- 
fectly well and clear headed every hour of the passage. 

I found congenial company in Rev. Dr. Washburn of Calvary 
Church and the Hon. David Dudley Field. 

Mr. Stuart Dodge met me on landing November 20th, and I 
spent the night at his father's house, and the next day with joy- 
ful anticipation took the train for Montrose. Mr. Dodge and 
Stuart took me to the ferry. At Scranton two sisters and others 
met me. At 8 p. m. I entered the dear old home. Fathen 
mother, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and my dear child 
Anna greeted me and we sat around the open fireplace 
until a late hour, recounting the mercies of the past, and 
dosed with family prayers. On November 25th brother Hunt- 

Digitized by 


Taking a Complete Rest 337 

ting brought my son William, then five years old, from Branch- 

We had a happy Thanksgiving November 28th, and twenty- 
six of the family sat at one long table at the dinner. We wrote 
a union family letter to brother Samuel in Syria, and after dinner 
we spent an hour in family singing. 

On my arrival Mr. Treat of the American Board wrote me en- 
joining my taking complete rest. 

What Mr. Treat meant by " rest " appears from his telegram 
six days later, instructing me to go to Yale College for Decem- 
ber 8th. I went, and was the guest of that beloved man of God, 
President Woolsey. The weather was severe, mercury ten de- 
grees below zero with a cutting northwest wind. 

On Sunday I spoke in Yale Chapel and in Dr. Eustis' Church. 
On Monday I spoke to the theological students and met Charles 
Smith, son of Dr. Eli Smith, whom I brought from Syria to 
America in 1857. That evening I spoke to the Hartford theo- 
logical students. The next day I went to Boston in a beautiful 
snow-storm and was the guest of Mr. Charles Stoddard and the 
next day visited the missionary house. I also visited my class- 
mate Munger at Haverhill and my sick colleague Mr. J. L. Lyons 
at South Berwick. On December 17th I met the Prudential 
Committee of the American Board and after full consideration 
they agreed to appoint a teacher for the Beirut Girls' School in 
case her support could be secured. This was pledged by Mrs. 
Baker and resulted months later in the selection of Miss Everett 
I also met President Mark Hopkins of Williams College, presi- 
dent of the Board, a man of giant intellect and heart aflame with 
love for Christ and His kingdom. 

The next day I visited South Hadley to inquire about a possi- 
ble candidate for the Beirut school, but failed to find one with 
the requisite qualifications who was willing to go. 

December 20th I went with Dr. Clark to Andover Theological 
Seminary and thence to Cambridgeport as the guest of my col- 
lege friend, the brilliant Rev. Kinsley Twining. Sunday was a 
most impropitious day, a foot of snow and water making the 

Digitized by 


338 Progress and Revival 

streets well-nigh impassable, but at the Shepherd Church in the 
evening the Harvard students came out in crowds. Dr. Pea- 
body of Harvard presided, prayer was offered by Dr. Mackenzie* 
and Mr. Treat and I both spoke. Dr. Peabody offered the clo- 
sing prayer full of evangelical missionary aspiration and inspira- 
tion and closed '' in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ" I thanked God for such a missionary meeting in old 
Harvard. It was one of the surprises of my life to find 
Dr. Peabody so cordially interested in the foreign missionary 

On Monday, December 33d, I went to New York and in cross- 
ing the Connecticut River the ferry-boat stuck in the mud at low 
tide for three hours. In New York I was the guest of Prof. 
Alfred C. Post and found there our Dr. Post and his brother-in- 
law, Rev. Arthur Mitchell Mr. Mitchell went with me to the 
ferry next morning and told me that there was a Mr. Dennis in 
Newark who ought to go to Syria. 

1868 — In January I went to Newark and had full conversation 
with Mr. James S. Dennis and he virtually decided to go to 
Syria. I met old friends and spoke twice in the Sunday-school 
of the First Church and in Dr. Poor's church. In New York I 
addressed the Union Seminary students and had private conver- 
sation with individuals in Gardner's room. 

After various visits I accepted the invitation of my seminary 
friend. Rev. J. B. Bonar of the American Presb}rterian Church 
and went to Montreal January 22d, where I was the guest of Mr. 
P. D. Browne. I remained five days, spoke six times, once to a 
union children's meeting, then to die French Canadian Mission- 
ary Society and in the church. 

Returning to New York via Springfield I found on the train at 
Springfield President Woolsey and a New England pastor and 
we had two hours of delightful conversation. At length the 
pastor, a well-known person, said to me, " Jessup, you must come 

to my church. We have there, a former missionary and 

he has done much harm to the cause by his folly. If you or 

Digitized by 


1. Rev. George E. Post. 2. Rev. J. S. Dennis, 1868. 3. Rev. Samuel 
Jessup, 1862. 4. Rev. William M. Thomson. 5. Rev. and Mrs. George C. 
Hurter, 1862. 6. Mrs. Samuel Jessup, 1862. 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Houghton and Hamilton 339 

some other decent man does not come to us soon it is all up with 
foreign missions in ." 

Then followed visits to Branchport and Penn Yan, Prattsburg 
and Susquehanna and then to Rochester on invitation of District 
Secretary Rev. Chas. P. Bush, who was the means of my hearing 
of Miss Everett. I spoke in Rochester nine times to old and 
young, and on Tuesday, March 3d, went to Clinton as the guest 
of Mrs. Dr. Gallup of Houghton Seminary. The snow was 
drifted over the fences, and the driver of the sleigh from New 
Hartford to Clinton dumped me at eight o'clock on a dark night 
in a snow-drift before a girls' seminary, and drove off. I waded 
through the drifts to the door and was told that this was the 
'' Liberal Institute " and the '< Houghton" was some distance up 
the street. So I trudged through the deep drifts dragging my 
heavy satchel behind me and finally reached the door of the 
*' Houghton." Mrs. Gallup *gave me a cordial welcome and after 
hearing the object of my visit, brought in Miss Everett and I ex- 
plained at length the situation in the Beirut Girls' School, giving 
them all the facts and documents in my possession. Miss 
Everett received the proposition favourably, but could not give a 
definite answer until after consulting her parents in Painesville, 
Ohio. Her acceptance of the position put new life into the 
school, and her long connection with it was a blessing to the 
daughters of Syria. 

The next day I called on the pastor, Rev. Albert Erdman, and 
saw Mrs. Erdman and the children, little thinking that one day 
his son Paul would marry my daughter Amy. I addressed the 
Hamilton College students and the church in the evening, al* 
though the day was bitterly cold and blustering. In Utica I 
called on Ellis H. Roberts, a Yale friend, a prominent editor and 
afterwards controller of the United States Treasury. We re- 
called the day when he a junior in 1849 stood up in the college 
chapel and professed his faith in Christ. 

In New York I met the Beirut College trustees, Messrs Booth, 
W. E. Dodge, Hoadley, Kingman, and A. C. Post. Dr. Geo. Post 
and I were present and plans were made for a public meeting in 

Digitized by 


34^ Progress and Revival 

behalf of the college. News had just come of the falling of a 
stone arch in the new Beirut church, and the trip of Mr. Stuart 
Dodge and Frederic A. Church, the artist, to Petra.^ 

In New York the mission rooms were in the Bible House and 
in charge of Dr. Geo. W. Wood and Mr. Merwin. Here I met 
returned missionaries and theological students and was always 
welcomed by the genial Dr. Wood. 

In Scranton I spoke several times and was the guest of my 
dear sister, Harriet A. Post, visited the ironworks and the coal 
mines and gathered specimens to take to Syria. Next to Mont- 
rose Scranton contained the largest number of my family rela- 
tives. Here also were noble men who had founded the town 
and the church, — Col. Geo. Scranton and Selden Scranton, Messrs. 
Piatt, Archbald, Blair, Hand, Boies, Fuller and Post and others. 
These good men gave me the money to buy the bell for the 
Beirut church which has been ringing and striking the hours for 
thirty-nine years. 

In March I spent a Sunday in Williamstown and was the 
guest of Prof. Mark Hopkins and met his brother, Prof. Albert 
Hopkins, '' par nobile fratrum." One of our Syrian boys, C 
William Calhoun, took me to the Mission Ha}rstack, the birth- 
place ]of the American Board. We had a rousing union meeting 
Sunday evening. Dr. Clark and Mr. Treat, secretaries, were 

^ Mr. Dodge afterwards told me in Beirut of how their dragoman, M. 
Hani, overawed the Bedawin cameleers. The party left Hebron and 
camped six miles further south. In the rooming after the loads had 
been roped and ready for loading, the Arabs refused to load sajring that 
the loads were too heavy, etc. Argument proved unavailing. Threats 
did no good. Then Hani yelled at the top of his voice to the Arabs, 
'< Unbind that box." They sprang forward and took off the ropes. 
He then unlocked the canteen, took out a dinner plate and raising it 
over his head dashed it to fragments on a rock. Then he took anotiber 
and smashed that, to the amazement of the Arabs. Then said he, 
'' Thus shall I smash all these hundreds of plates and then the Queen 
of England will come here with an army and make you pay a pound for 
every plate and put you all in prison." The Arabs rushed forward 
and stopped him saying, ''Dukhalak (we bq; you), don't break 
another. We'll put on the loads." And they did, and the travelleis 
had no more trouble. The genius of Hani was equal to the occasion. 

Digitized by 


Chi Alpha's Hospitality 341 

present. The sight of that company of college students in that 
historic spot with such a leader as Mark Hopkins was most in- 
spiring and enough to make any man eloquent. 

I then visited New Haven and called on President Woolsey 
and Professors Dana and Marsh, with whom I had a talk about 
the geology of Syria. I also met Daniel C. Gilman and my be- 
loved tutor, Rev. Wm. H. Goodrich, who was brutally attacked 
by a Southern student in our freshman year and never fully re- 
covered from the effects of the blow on his head. 

In New York I was the guest of Hon. Wm. E. Dodge. Dr. 
Greo. E. Post was then in New York and we had frequent inter- 
views with Messrs. Dodge and W. A. Booth with regard to funds 
for the Beirut College. Dr. Hallock of the American Tract 
Society gave me a selection of electro cuts for our Arabic journal. 

On April 4th I was invited to attend the Chi Alpha Society- 
There were present a noble body of men : Drs. S. H. Cox, W. 
Adams, Burchard, H. B. Smith, Prentiss, Bidwell, Cuyler, Schaff, 
John Hall, Eastman, Hallock, Hastings, Ganse, Hatfield, Bonar, 
Kittredge, Hutton, Skinner, Murray, Wood, Crosby, Shedd, and 
others. Only four are living now (1906). In all my subsequent 
visits to the United States this society has bidden me welcome, 
and I owe its members a great debt of gratitude. 

April 9th we had a public meeting in behalf of the Syrian 
Protestant College with addresses by the Rev. Willard Parker, 
Dr. Wm. H. Thomson, Dr. Post, Prof. R. D. Hitchcock, and my- 
self. The object was to raise an endowment for the medical de- 

I also visited Auburn, speaking in the First and Second 
Churches and to the students ; and then visited Painesville, Qeve- 
land, Elmira, Providence, R. I., and Stonington. 

On the 6th of May I became engaged to Miss Harriet Eliza- 
beth Dodge, daughter of Dr. David Stuart Dodge of Hartford 
and niece of Hon. Wm. E. Dodge. We were married October 
1st by Dr. Wm. Adams, and sailed for Syria October 17th, ta- 
king with us my daughter Anna, and Misses Everett and Carruth 
for the Beirut Fenude Seminary. 

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342 Progress and Revival 

May 23d I spoke in the General Assembly in Harrisburg, P^ 
During that assembly at a morning devotional meeting the son 
of an eminent deceased pastor, who had been a warm friend of 
my father, made a fervent appeal for foreign missions. A little 
later his widowed mother came to me and said, " Do urge my 

son J to enter the foreign mission service. It would be my 

highest joy to have a ' missionary son.' " I went at once to him 
and said, " Your remarks this morning show that you have the 
missionary spirit and ought to be a missionary." «« Yes," said 
he, '' that is true ; but I have a widowed mother to care for and I 
cannot leave her." I then told him what his mother had said 
and how earnestly she desired that he become a missionary. He 
was much affected and said at length, " I would go gladly, but I 
cannot leave my mother in her dependent circumstances." He 
has been useful at home. 

A week later I spoke at the Boston anniversaries, and May 
30th addressed the yearly missionary meeting of the Orthodox 
Friends in New York. 

June 7th I met Dr. N. G. Clark of the American Board at 
Clinton and we held meetings in Dr. Erdman's church, in Hamil- 
ton College, and in Houghton Seminary. Miss Everett decided 
definitely to go to Syria. 

In Boston, July ist, I called on Father Cleveland aged ninety- 
six. The Sunday before as city missionary he had preached 
twice I 

Reaching home July 3d I found father much more feeble, 
being unable to speak. 

In Pittsburg, July 13th, Mr. Wm. Thaw gave me $$00 for the 
Beirut church building. 

In July I attended Yale commencement In New York 
Mr. J. S. Dennis announced his decision to go to Syria, and 
Mr. Frank Wood of the Astor Library called to consult with 
reference to going to Syria. 

August 20th — In Montrose father's mind became clear and he 
spoke with animation of the missionary work and the Church 
and was delighted to hear of the progress towards the reunion of 

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My Father's Death 343 

the two Presbyterian churches, but he could not remember secular 
aflfairs. On September nth I was on the Erie railroad train 
returning from Branchport when the conductor handed me a 
telegram of the death of dear father. He died with his staff in 
his hand, like a pilgrim ready for the long journey before him, 
falling asleep in Christ We laid the palm branches brought 
from Syria upon his coffin, a token of triumph through Christ. 
On the 14th I wrote to brother Samuel in Syria: 

" The long-expected and sad event has at length transpired. 
Our beloved and honoured father fell quietly asleep on Friday 
last at ten o'clock. His death was as serene and peaceful as his 
life had been, and he has attained the victory through the blood 
of the Lamb. For him we have no tears to shed. He has long 
waited for his Lord to come and now his triumph is complete. 
Such a life as his few men have lived. ' The memory of the just 
is blessed.' What a legacy of piety and virtue and Christian 
beneficence he has left behind to his family and country I May 
his mantle fall on us his children who owe so much to his ex- 
ample, his counsel, and his prayers." 

September 23d I gave the charge at the ordination of Rev. Jas. S. 
Dennis as missionary to Syria and his mother then told me of 
his boyhood resolution to be a missionary. 

October ist I was married to Harriet Elizabeth Dodge, and 
we went on to the meeting of the American Board at Norwich. 
At that meeting I met seven former Syria missionaries, Mrs. 
Whiting, Mrs. Eli Smith, Mrs. De Forest, Dr. Laurie, Mr. Sher- 
man, Dr. Beadle, and Dr. Wolcott. 

October 17th we sailed for Syria via Liverpool, Paris, and 
Marseilles, myself, wife, daughter Anna and Misses Everett and 
Carruth. At Messina, Sicily, we were joined by my old friend 
Dr. David Torrey and his two nieces Ada and Carrie. Dr. Tor- 
rey had arranged by correspondence to board our ship at Mes- 
sina. On our arriving there, November 12th, his courier came 
on board with a note from Dr. Torrey stating that his party had 
been so exhausted by crossing from Naples in a small steamer 
that they had abandoned the trip to the Holy Land As our 

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344 Progress and Revival 

steamer was to stay only a few hours I saw that vigorous action 
must be taken. I hastened ashore with the courier, went up to 
Dr. Torrey's room, knocked at the door and shouted to him to 
get up at once and rouse his nieces and come on board Hot 
coffee was ordered and in spite of some feeble protests from the 
next room, I soon had them ready and they came with me on 
board and added greatly to our pleasure on the voyage to Beirut. 
Thence they went through Palestine and Egypt where one of the 
accomplished nieces married Dr. Grant, the eminent physician 
and Egyptologist of Giiro. Neither Dr. Torrey nor Mrs. Grant ever 
regretted my boisterous knock on his door at the Messina Hotel ! 

We reached Beirut November 22d and received a hearty wel- 
come from our friends native and foreign. 

On my return I found that my brother Samuel had again been 
transferred from Sidon to Tripoli, being his third removal to Tripoli. 
Rev. S. Mitchell had returned invalided to America, Rev. I. N. 
Lowry and wife, both in infirm health, had been located in 
Tripoli, but after two years they both returned to America where 
both died of consumption within two years. This and similar 
cases in other fields led the Board of Missions to require all mis- 
sionary candidates to pass a strict medical examination before ap- 
pointment. It used to be allowable to send candidates with weak 
lungs to warm climates in the hope of their recovery, but that 
plan has wisely been abandoned. It was hoped that Mr. S. Jes- 
sup's removal to Tripoli would be permanent, as the Tripoli peo- 
ple had reason to think that the chief end of the American mis- 
sionary^is to move in, rent houses in advance and then move out 
again. In thirteen years they had seen this done by eight mis- 

My home was reconstructed, two of my children, Anna and 
Henry, being with me, the third, William, remaining with his 
grandparents in western New York, where he grew up with a 
robust vigorous frame and became fitted to join me afterwards as 
a missionary colleague in Syria. 

The American Board had decided that I was in no case to re- 
turn to the acting pastorate of the Beirut church. The only 

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Arrival of James S. Dennis 345 

native-born Syrian preacher qualified for the Beirut pastorate 
was Rev. John Wortabet, son of an Armenian convert and or- 
dained in 1853 as pastor of the Hasbeiya church, and later mis- 
sionary of a Scotch society in Aleppo, now instructor in the 
Syrian Protestant College. But he absolutely declined the post 
He was receiving a salary equal to, if not greater, than that of 
Dr. Thomson, Dr. Post, or myself, and could not expect as much 
from the native church, yet this was probably not the chief reason 
for declining the office. So the work of preaching was thrown 
back again upon the missionaries resident in Beirut. I was to 
leave Beirut and teach in the theological seminary in Abeih, 
Mount Lebanon, in connection with Mr. Calhoun. 

I wrote to Dr. N. G. Clark : " I shall enter upon the work of 
theological teaching with all fervour. It will be necessary in the 
first place to find out what my own theology is, for I have not 
had time to decide thus far, but I suppose that if I follow Hodge, 
Henry B. Smith, Park and Taylor and stick to the Bible and 
catechism, I shall be considered orthodox all around. You must 
come out and see me ere long and set my theology right." 

The mission agreed with me that the Beirut church must have 
a native pastor but were not clear as to the best location for a 
theological seminary. ^ 

On the loth of February, Rev. Jas. S. Dennis arrived from 
America and was stationed in Sidon to aid Dr. Eddy who was 
appointed teacher in the Abeih theological class. The literary 
labours of Dr. Dennis in preparing in Arabic a treatise on The- 
ology based largely on Dr. Hodge's volumes, a work on Scripture 
Interpretation and another on the Evidences of Christianity were 
a noble contribution to Arabic Christian literature. For years he 
was at the head of the theological seminary after its removal to 
Beirut in 1873 until his resignation in 1891. 

On his arrival in Syria, owing to the fact that his name had an 
unpleasant significance in Arabic, he received and accepted the 
name of Ennis which means affable or polite and endured the 
self-denial of ignoring his own name among native friends for 
twenty-two years of bis residence in Syria. 

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346 Progress :md Revival 

It was finally decided to b^in a theological daas in Abeih on 
the 3d of May, 1869, with Messrs. Calhoun, W. W. Eddy, and 
H. H. Jessup as teachers. We had a class of eight men, all of 
whom had already had experience as teachers and helpers, and 
four of whom became ordained pastors, Messrs. S. Jerawan, 
Y. Bedr, S. Hakim, and K. Zarub. We carried on the class until 
November ist and resumed it the following May. 

The question of a native ministry was so urgent in 1868 and 
1869 that we called a meeting of the Beirut church to give them 
notice that they must have a pastor and support him. They met 
and voted, ist, that it was their duty to have a pastor ; 2d, to 
support him ; 3d, that as there is no pastor in view that they will 
raise annually a sum equal to a pastor's salary and when he is 
secured devote it to his support; 4th, that 20,000 piastres be 
raised this year. One said, '« I am ashamed to sit in tiie chapd 
and hear preaching from the American missionaries for which I 
pay nothing." Others used strong language and all seemed to 
feel that self-respect compelled them to pay their own ministry. 

In opening a theological class in Abeih, Mount Lebanon, as a 
summer school from May ist to November ist the mission gave 
the best proof of its determination to train a native ministry. 
And since that time the class has had varied experiences, being 
transferred to Beirut in 1873 as a winter school from October to 
June until 1891, then, from 1894 to 1901 as a summer school in 
Suk el Gharb, Lebanon ; and lastly reopened in Beirut, October, 
1905, as a winter school. 

The teachers have been Rev. Messrs. Calhoun, W. W. Eddy, 
H. H. Jessup, J. S. Dennis, C. V. A. Van Dyck, G. A. Ford, Mr. 
Ibrahim Haurany, Mr. Rezzuk Berbari, Rev. Beshara Barudi, 
O. J. Hardin, S. Jessup, F. W. March, F. R Hoskins, and A. 

But it was not until 1890 that we finally succeeded in ordain- 
ing a native pastor, Rev. Yusef Bedr, over tiie Beirut church. 
Since that time the native pastorate has continued. 

March 28, 1869, the new church edifice in Beirut was formaUy 
dedicated. I preached the Arabic dedication sermon at 9 A. ic,. 

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The Church Curtain and Bell 347 

and Dr. Lindsay Alexander of Edinburgh the English sermon at 
eleven o'clock. In the afternoon Mr. Calhoun preached in 
Arabic. The congregations were large and there was great re- 
joicing at entering such a spacious edifice after worshipping in the 
low crowded arched rooms of the old mission house. 

Thb Church Curtain 

When the new church was finished the question arose, Shall 
the old red broadcloth curtain of time-honoured use in the old 
chapel for thirty years be hung in the new church to separate 
the women from the men ? We missionaries declined to settle 
the question and left it to the native brethren. After long and 
serious discussion they decided that if the curtain were not hung 
in the new church no Moslem woman would ever enter it and 
many Christian women would not, and parents of the schoolgirls 
might object to their being stared at by men and boys. So the 
curtain was hung with hooks on an iron rod extending from the 
front pew back to the organ. It hung there for several years and 
was finally removed by the Syrians themselves without our 
knowledge and presented to a church in the interior which is still 
under the sway of old Oriental customs. 

The church bell and clock had arrived from New York, but the 
tower was not finished and so eager were the people of Beirut to see 
and hear the striking of the clock that with one accord Moslems, 
Jews, Greeks, and Maronites contributed liberally and the work 
was completed. By an agreement with the Jewish Mission's 
Committee of the Church of Scotland the missionaries of that 
church have maintained the English preaching at 11 a. m. on 
Sunday from that time until the present, thirty-nine years. Rev. 
Dr. Jas. Robertson and Rev. Dr. G. M. Mackie have been the 
incumbents with other temporary supplies and their Catholic 
spirit and faithful labours have been and are a blessing to the 
entire Anglo-American community. 

On the 2d of April Theodore Booth, son of Wm. A. Booth 
of New York, died at Hotel Bellevue in Beirut. Owing to the 
warm friendship of Mr. Booth and family for many members of 

Digitized by 


348 Progress and Revival 

the mission we all felt deeply the death of this lovely young man 
cut off in the spring time of his life. 

His remains were embalmed and taken to America. His 
brother Frederick, who was summoned from Jerusalem, was de- 
tained by a storm in Jaffa and unable to come to the funeral. 

Mr. Booth founded, as a memorial of his son, the " Theodore 
Fund " of the Syrian Protestant College, the income of which was 
to be used for the publication of works needed in the course of 
instruction, and Mrs. Booth gave the chandeliers for the new 
church also as a memorial of her son. 

On August 17th Dr. and Mrs. Post were greatly afflicted in the 
death of their infant son Robert, in the Saracenic building in 
Baalbec. Dr. Bliss and Mr. Stuart Dodge hastened thither, 
riding all night and returned with the sorrowing parents to Beirut 
and Mr. Calhoun went down by night to Beirut to conduct the 

In October with the aid of Dr. Eddy's son William I made a 
collection of the specimens of the f ocks in all the strata from the 
summit of the Metaiyyar Mountain above Abeih to the bottom of 
the valley below, measuring each stratum and recording its thick- 
ness and wrapping the specimens in cloth bags made for the pur- 
pose. These were presented to the cabinet of the Beirut College. 

The theological class closed in Abeih October 30th and the 
students went to their fields of labour for the winter. Mr. Cal- 
houn had the chair of Theology ; Mr. Eddy Bible Exegesis, and 
I had Church History, Homiletics, and Evidences of Christianity. 
It became necessary to prepare lectures at once in Arabic in the 
two former and for the latter we used Alexander's Evidences. 
As my preference has always been for preaching, this settling 
down and preparing lectures was a new and difficult task, but I 
have kept it up to this day (1907) and have had the satisfaction 
of aiding in the training of about ninety young men for the 

We decided to teach the theological students English. It was 
felt that Syria cannot be kept to the standard of Eastern Turkey. 
The land is full of European Jesuits and European infidel litera- 

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Mrs. J. Bowen Thompson 349 

tare. Our young brethren will be derided unless they are able 
to cope with the arguments of Voltaire and defend even the text 
of the Holy Scriptures. Even in Hums books are in circulation 
which few men in a Christian land could satisfactorily answer. 
And the young men of that church and community have spent 
weeks trying to answer the old objections of Celsus, Arius, 
Voltaire, Hume, and Renan, revamped and eloquently stated in 
the recent Arabic Mohammedan book entitled *' Izhar el Hoc." 

But recently (1904) this book has been triumphantly answered 
in an Arabic work (the " Hedaiyet ") written and printed in 
Cairo. But none the less the Arabic pastors of this generation 
need a good knowledge of English. 

We returned to Beirut where I once more took my turn with 
Dr. Thomson in the Arabic preaching. The Scotch preaching 
service was conducted by Rev. Mr. Fenwick. 

On November 14th Mrs. J. Bowen Thompson died in London and 
on Sunday, November 28th, I preached funeral sermons in Eng- 
lish and Arabic commemorative of her nearly nine years of faithful 
service for the women and girls of Syria. 

She was a woman of earnest piety, great courage and resolu- 
tion, undaunted by obstacles, a good organizer, and in the few 
years of her life in Syria had founded a S}^tem of day-schools for 
girls in about ten towns in Syria, and a Central Training Institu- 
tion in Beirut. With her sisters Mrs. Mott, and Mrs. Smith and 
Miss Lloyd, who succeeded her, she worked in entire harmony 
with the American missionaries, and her teachers and pupils were 
received to the communion in our native churchies. In this she 
had to resist repeated overtures from the high church party in 
England, but although a member of the Church of England she 
would not consent to bring about a schism in the native Evan- 
gelical Church. We of the American Mission acted as pastors 
for her Christian teachers and pupils, and from the day of her ar- 
rival in October, i860, 1 extended to her a warm welcome and 
stood by her when not an English resident in Beirut would rec- 
ognizc her. Their conduct was, to my mind, based on misrepre- 
sentations, and I saw in her a strong and consecrated character, 

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350 Progress and Revival 

capable of great usefulness and in the end she won the confidence 
and cooperation of all. 

In February a deputation from the village of Mezraat Yeshua 
near the Dog River came to Beirut stating that sixty families of 
Maronites had " turned " Protestants, or, as they say, wished to 
" nuklub Protestant " and wanted a preacher. After long ques- 
tioning and sifting their stories we learned that there was a 
deadly feud between two families in the village, that one man 
had been killed but that the government had settled the quarrel 
Nukhly, one of my two guests, wanted to be made priest and the 
other party opposed it. We had little confidence in the sincerity 
of the men but it seemed a call of God to enter in while the door 
was open and preach the Gospel. The result, however, was the 
same as in another case I have instanced at length. 

Near this village on the mountainside there was formerly a 
stone statue of Diana or Artemis. The Arabic name is Arta* 
meesh. The monks ages ago built a monastery and called it the 
Monastery of St. Tameesh, so they are praying to Diana. Higher up 
is the convent of Bellona, sister of Mars, the goddess of war. She 
is reputed a saint by the people and ofTerings are made at her 
shrine in the convent There are nearly fifty convents within 
fifty miles along the coast of Lebanon and some 2,000 monks 
live on the fat of the land. By terrors of purgatory the priests 
and monks have for ages extorted from the dying their houses 
and lands until nearly all the fine fountains, rich arable land, forest 
groves, and fruit trees belong to the monks and the poor fellahin 
or farmers are mere tenants at will. And those not tenants have 
generally borrowed money from the monks and priests so that 
they are held by a grip of iron. This state of things has made 
the Kesrawan district of Lebanon a byword and a hissing 
throughout Syria. The people are in a state of physical and 
ecclesiastical bondage. 

I mention this incident as one characteristic of the Maronites 
of Lebanon and of some other sects. I have known of about a 
dozen villages in which from fifty to 500 people have declared 
themselves Protestants and continued so for weeks and months 

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Threatening to Turn Protestant 351 

and then suddenly all gone back except perhaps two or three, 
and that without a blush or sense of shame. Such movements 
took place in Aindara, Ain er Rummaneh, Deraun, and many 
other places. They had expected foreign consular protection and 
when that failed they slipped back in their socket like dislocated 
bones. The threat to turn Protestants or Jews or Moslems is a 
common weapon with which the people threaten their priests 
without any thought of a sincere change of faith. An honest 
movement to evangelical Christianity in masses is unknown in 
Syria. It is different among the Armenians. The popular move- 
ment in Aintab and Marash in 1851 arose from a sincere desire 
to know God's Word and to follow its teachings, and as a result 
stable evangelical churches of true, honest men and women were 
speedily organized and have continued to this day. In Syria the 
popular conscience has been so warped and corrupted by the 
confessional and the easy condoning of sin, that men can profess 
to change their religion with no idea of a real change and with 
only a sinister object As a consequence, the Protestant move- 
ment in Syria has been chiefly that of individuals, one here and 
another there, so that the organization of churches has been a 
slow work and the want of a large membership rendered self-sup- 
port impossible in the early decades of the mission. 

In Safita, Northern Syria, 300 Greeks and Nusairiyeh declared 
themselves Protestants in 1866, and only a dozen held out to the 
end. In Wadi Shahroor 250 came out as Protestants in 1876 and 
not one proved to be sincere. In B'teddin-el-Luksh 150 declared 
themselves Protestants in 1861 and had a preacher for a year, and 
all then turned back again. If all the people who have " turned" 
Protestants in Syria had remained steadfast, the land would soon 
be Protestant. In the most of these cases, the so-called Protes- 
tants present a petition, signed with their seals, declaring that 
they will live and die Protestants, calling God to witness their 
sincerity. And yet in a few weeks they violate the pledge 
without the least compunction, assured that their priests will con- 
done their perjury. 

Every man in Syria has a seal with his name and title engraved 

Digitized by 


35^ Progress and Revival 

cm brass or agate or carnelian, and evei;i his signature is of little 
account without his seaL Placing one's seal on a document is 
equivalent to an oath and is r^purded as ^iacred. 

Mezraat Yeshua was a specimen of the wsqt in which popular 
movements in Syria towards Protestantism collapse. Such a 
thing as a village asking for the truth in the love of it has not 
been heard of in modem times. They generally ask for a preacher 
to spite somebody or get even with the tyrannical priesthood. 

It often happens that when a man is at law, and the priests and 
bishops take sides with his adversary, he will turn Protestant as a 
menace, and thus bring over the clergy to his own side, and then 
drop his Protestantism. So many suspicious characters come to 
us offering themselves as pillars to the cause of the Gospel, that I 
not unfrequently ask a man, as the first question after the usual 
salutations, " Have you committed robbery or murder, or are you 
in a quarrel with your family or priests, or do you wish to marry 
a person forbidden by your religion, or what is the reason of your 
coming to me? Did you ever hear of a man's leaving his re- 
ligion without a cause ? Now tell me plainly, what have you 
done?" Sometimes it turns out that a man really wants in- 
struction, but the case is generally otherwise. If fifty men turned 
Protestants in a village, one ordinarily counts upon about ten as 
likely to stand, but every movement of the kind loosens the grasp 
of the priesthood and prepares the way for a more thorough work 
in the future. 

In 1835-1836 members of all the Druse feudal families of sheikhs 
in Lebanon declared themselves Protestant Christians and asked 
for preachers and teachers. For a time they were steadfast, some 
of them even going to prison, but the missionaries felt that they 
were not sincere and when the hope of political protection was 
cut off" they politely bowed the missionaries and teachers out of 
their villages. On the other hand, the Protestant churches in 
Syria have grown up gradually from individuals or small bodies 
of men who have endured persecution from priests and sheikhs, 
suffering social ostracism and political disabilities, yet standing 
firm in their faith. 

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The Bible is Doing the Work 353 

One of the first Protestants, Asaad es Shidiak, suffered martyr- 
dom rather than yield to the patriarch and return to Mariolatry 
and creature worship, and every little church throughout the land 
has originated with men who have suffered for Christ's sake. A 
full account of some of these men would make a valuable chapter 
in modern church history. 

Up to the present time about ninety-five young men have been 
taught in the theological class, of whom fourteen have been or- 
dained (1908). The poverty of the churches has greatly hindered 
the ordination of native preachers as the mission first, and after- 
wards the presbytery, decided to ordain no one unless at least 
half his salary was paid by his church. 

I am almost amazed at the extent to which evangelical light 
pervades the nominally Christian communities here. The Greek 
Church in Beirut will go over some day to Protestantism en 
masse, if the light continues to spread in the future as it has in 
the past ten years. A prominent Greek said a few days ago, 
" You Protestants need not trouble yourselves about converting 
Syria. Our children are all going to be Protestants whether you 
will or not. The Bible is doing the work." 

Another Greek was visited recently by a priest who came to 
receive the confession of the family, previous to the sacrament. 
The priest said, " My son, I have come to hear you confess." 
" All right, your reverence, I have a big score to confess to-day." 
— *' Go on, my son." " Well, I do not believe in the worship of 
pictures." (This is a cardinal point in the Greek Church.) '< No 
matter about that, as long as you are an Orthodox Greek." — 
" But I do not believe in the invocation of the Virgin and the 
saints." — '* Ah ! you do not ? Well, that is a small matter. Go 
on." — ^''Nor do I believe in transubstantiation." — ^"No matter 
about that, it is a question for the theologians."—" Nor do I 
believe in priestly absolution." — " Very well, between you and 
me there is room for objection to that, so no matter as long as 
you confess." — " But I do not believe in confession to a priest." 
— Here the priest became somewhat confused, but finally smoothed 
the matter over, and said, " No matter about that" The man 

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354 Progress and Revival 

then replied, ** What business have I then in a Greek church ? 
Good-morning, your reverence. I have done with the traditions 
of men." 

The growing enlightenment of the people is greatly alarming 
the priesthood of all sects, and they are setting themselves and 
taking counsel together how to check the growth of Protestant- 
ism. Every species of annoyance and petty private persecution 
is resorted to, but where the truth has taken root nothing will 
avail to check it. Were there entire liberty of conscience here 
and were the power of persecution and oppression taken out of 
the hands of the clergy, there would be an astonishing move- 
ment towards Protestant Christianity. 

Two young men, of good families in Beirut, and both of the 
Greek sect, have been turned out of their houses within a fort- 
night by their own parents for attending our church and prayer- 
meetings but they both stand firm and have now been asked to 
return home again. One of them brought his father to church 
last Sunday and his sister to the Sabbath-school. 

At a recent meeting of our church session, a letter was sent in, 
written by a young man who was suspected a year ago of a gross 
sin and had persistently denied it, but in this letter he acknowl- 
edged his sin in bitter anguish of repentance, and begged the 
church to watch over him and help him in his efforts to live a 
new life for Christ. 

But not all who call upon us as inquirers can be implicitly 
trusted. A Grerman Jew turned up recently who wished aid, 
stating that he was inquiring and was therefore entitled to pe- 
cuniary aid. He is still here, having been baptized in another 
part of the country, and says he will be content with six piastres 
for working half a day as he wishes to study the other half. 

An old Maronite papal priest called, about sixty-five years old, 
and expressed great interest in the truth. Suspecting that some- 
thing was wrong, I asked him to tell me the whole story in the 
outset, and then we could get on better together. So he said his 
wife had died and that he had two grown up daughters who were 
about to be married and the patriarch was about to divide the 

Digitized by 


Protestants for Revenue Only 355 

large bmily property between the daughters. " Now/' said he, 
" I wish to marry again and raise up sons, who will be my heirs 
and preserve my name, but the patriarch forbids my remarrying, 
so I threatened to turn Protestant. He imprisoned me in Deir 
Meifuk but I escaped and fled to Beirut. I want protection from 
your government to enable me to marry again." 

I gave him some books, explained the Gospel to him and ad- 
vised him to go home and live in peace with his daughters and 
let the marriage question alone. 

Five men called one day from 4 distant Maronite village, deeply 
interested in the truth, profoundly impressed, as they said, and 
they wanted a preacher and a school. After an hour's cross- 
questioning and probing, I learned that they were deeply in debt^ 
and wished us to buy their heavily mortgaged property and build 
a boarding-school so that they could pay their debts or use us as 
a shield in repudiating their debts. 

Another aged priest came and offered to become Protestant, if 
I would guarantee him a salary of twelve dollars a month with or 
without work. 

Then a monk came and said that he loved me very much and 
loved the Gospel, and wanted to know if I would advance to him 
the sum of 6,000 piastres (;$240) on a note he held which had no 
date nor witnesses. He said that in case he could get the money, 
he and his abbot could buy the control of a better monastery 
than their present one and have a good opportunity to preach 
the Gospel ! The man had some light and had read many of our 
books, but lacked the simplicity of the Gospel. I told him that 
we never dealt in mercantile affairs and he had better sell his note 
to the brokers. 

Such cases as these are constantly occurring, but never discour- 
age us, for we always anticipate a certain percentage of similar 
cases, and take it for granted that every professed inquirer has 
some sinister design unless we have previous knowledge of the 
person, or he gives proof of honest intentions. 

Two of my missionary correspondents at this time were prod- 
ding the Syria Mission for not having native pastors, and several 

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356 Progress and Revival 

in America were insisting on our forming at once a presb}rter7. 
Mr. Williams of Mardin declared that we were putting education 
in the place of evangelization. Dr. Lansing of Egypt urged that 
we go ahead and form a presbytery. The New School Presby- 
terian Foreign Mission Committee in New York, which was then 
connected with the American Board, insisted that the Presby- 
terian missionaries in Syria under the American Board '* have 
something to show in the shape of presbyteries on mission ground 
after all these years of labour." 

Now I would yield to no one as to the importance of a living 
native church with its own native pastors, and this has been the 
aim of the Syria Mission, amid difficulties innumerable, for sixty 
years. But although I am a Presbyterian by birth and convic- 
tion, I cannot put Presbyterian polity above the interests of the 
native churches in the mission. A presbytery consists of tlie 
pastors and elders of churches in a given district. Foreign mis- 
sionaries are not pastors and should not be. A presbytery in 
Syria composed of foreign missionaries only, would not be a 
legal presbytery. Nor is it desirable that a presbytery in Syria 
should be composed of mixed American and Syrian pastors and 
Syrian elders. We therefore postponed the organization of a 
presbytery in Syria until 1883 when Sidon Presbytery was 
formed and afterwards the Presbyteries of Mount Lebanon and 
Tripoli. The missionaries here all retain their connection with 
their home presbyteries in America, and sit as corresponding 
members of the three presbyteries in Syria ; that of Sidon, Beirut 
and Mount Lebanon, and Tripoli. We decline to vote, but the 
Syrian brethren entreat us to sit with them and at times even to 
accept the office of moderator. The twelve ordained mission- 
aries in Syria would, if legal members of the native presbyteries, 
be able to override and outvote their Syrian brethren. 

In the three Syrian presbyteries, where the churches have no 
pastors, the licensed preacher, if acting as supply, has a seat in 
presbytery with his elder. This enables the presbytery to cover 
the field and these young preachers are trained to transact busi- 
ness and to enter into spiritual sympathy with their fellow work- 

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Comity in Spite of Hjrmns 357 

ers throughout the land. After long discussion and full study 
and consideration, all the presbyteries have adopted the form of 
government of the Presbyterian Church. 

There has thus far been no attempt to unite in one body the 
American Presbyterian Mission, the Irish Presbyterian Mission 
of Damascus, the Scotch United Free Mission in Tiberias, and 
the Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanter Mission of Latakia, 
Cyprus, and Mersine. When these three branches of the Pres- 
byterian Church at home unite, the missionaries on the foreign 
field will no doubt respond with enthusiasm. At present I un- 
derstand that there is not material enough in the way of ordained 
pastors and organized churches to warrant the formation of a 
presbytery in either of these three missions. The close com- 
munion principles of some of these churches make it difficult to 
have even a union evangelistic service. One rather exceptionally 
radical devotee of psalm singing in Northern Syria requested the 
Brummana Conference of some 120 Christian workers from all 
parts of Syria, Palestine, and Asia Minor, to forego hymn sing- 
ing and to sing only psalms in order to enable him to come. 
The secretary. Dr. Mackie, replied kindly to this assumption by 
suggesting that he could refrain from singing altogether and yet 
enjoy the benefit of a conference led by the saintly Rev. F. B. 
Meyer. But he refused to come. The non possumtis of a pope 
could not be more unfraternal. 

In November, 1869, Dr. Norman McLeod of Scotland passed 
through Cairo on his return from India. Meeting Rev. Dr. Bar- 
nett, a stiff United Presbyterian of the American Mission, Dr. 
McLeod asked him what he thought of all Christians uniting in 
foreign fields to form an evangelical church on the basis of the 
New Testament. 

"Not at all," he replied, "as long as so many of these 
churches will follow * will worship ' in singing human produc- 
tions" (meaning hymns). " What," said Dr. McLeod, " do you 
mean to say that you would make a schism in the Church of Christ 
for such a reason ? " " Yes," said Dr. Bamett. " Then," said Dr. 
McLeod, " I wish your whole church was in the bottomless pit." 

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3^8 Progress and Revival 

That was severe language and too strong and too much like 
bringing fire from heaven as James and John wished to do, but 
Dr. McLeod was a man of broad sympathies and strong convic- 
tions and could not bear intolerance. We were at that time cor- 
responding with all the missions in Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, 
and Egypt with regard to holding a Union Missionary Confer- 
ence in March, 1870, and we had strong hopes of a delegation of 
the United Presbyterian brethren in Egypt, but none came, and 
the Covenanter brethren of the North did not even answer the 
circular invitation. Since that time a much broader and more 
fraternal spirit has prevailed and we exchange pulpits with our 
saintly brethren in Egypt and our '' mutual love is fervent." 

We can explain to the people the diflference between presby- 
tery and prelacy, but I have not been able to make an Arab un- 
derstand why missionaries labouring to lead pagans and Mos' 
lems to Christ should refuse to commune with other missionaries 
because in their church service they sing " Jesus, Lover of my 
Soul " and other inspiring Christian hymns of prayer and praise. 

In writing on this subject to dear Dr. Lansing in December, 
1868, I said, ** Really, should our two branches of the church at 
home unite to-morrow on a basis allowing the singing of both 
psalms and hymns at pleasure, I don't believe that your mission 
would refuse to enter into the union." 

In those days I found great comfort and inspiration in reading, 
every night before retiring, from George Bowen's ** Meditations." 
It is the most pithy, terse, and sententious book of devotional 
reading I have ever read. The author was once a New York 
infidel lawyer, was converted, studied in Union Seminary, went 
to Western India as a missionary, where he supported himself by 
teaching and conducting a journal. He was a remarkable man 
and has written a remarkable book. 

In January, 1869, the mission thanked God and took courage. 
The Bible had been printed in various attractive editions ; thou- 
sands of people have heard the Gospel message ; numerous depu- 
tations had come from diflferent villages asking for teachers; 
towns and villages long sealed against us are now open and ask- 

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Children of Adam 359 

ing for missionary labour ; baptisms have begun to take place 
among the Druses; even the Mohammedans are sending their 
children to our schools; several Christian churches have been 
organized ; and the mission has now set apart three of its mem- 
bers to the work of training a native ministry, while in the de- 
partment of higher education, the college and girls' boarding- 
school in Beirut will accomplish all that Syria will need for many 
years to come. 

Yet we had not a single self-supporting church or school. 
This money question is the bane of all missions. The whole 
system of paying native Christian teachers and preachers out of 
foreign funds is an unmixed evil. The '' Native Element/' as it 
is called in educational institutions, is important, but only most 
efTective when paid by natives. Every cent of foreign money 
paid to natives is misunderstood by the native population, puts 
the employees thus paid in the attitude of hirelings, injures their 
character for sincerity (and most of them are truly sincere), and 
weakens the self-respect of the people. It tends to demoralize 

The Emir Mohammed Smair Ibn ed Dukhy of the Anazeh 
Arabs said once to me while on a visit to Beirut, " Yes, we would 
like to have a teacher come to our tribe, but he must be willing to 
live as we do, travel as we travel, and eat as we eat" Once a 
Bedawy sheikh, after hearing the Sermon on the Mount, ex- 
claimed, " That, command to turn the * other cheek ' may do for 
you dwellers in towns, but it will never do for us Arabs. We 
must punish offenders and retaliate for outrages, or we could not 
live." The fact is that the old Ishmaelitic spirit is wrought into 
the very fibre of their being, << his hand shall be against every 
man and every man's hand shall be against him." Though pro- 
fessedly Moslems they waylay and plunder and kill the Moslem 
pilgrims en route from Jeddah to Mecca. While in one sense 
they are simple-minded, hospitable, true children of nature, they 
show that they are also the children of Adam, superstitious, sus- 
picious, and revengeful to the last degree. The system of 
^ ghazu," or midnight raids upon hostile camps, is a part of their 

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360 Progress and Revival 

very being, and is as cowardly as it is cruel When Kamil and 
Jedaan spent a summer among the Anazeh in 1890, they read 
and preached to them for two months, and since then Jedaan has 
induced a body of young sheikhs to agree to give up the ** ghazu.'' 
Some day, when the present political and military barrier is re- 
moved, the Gospel will again reach the Arabs as it did in the eaxfy 
Christian centuries. 

In 1864 the Arab Orthodox Greeks of Deir Mimas, west of 
Mount Hermon, quarrelled about their ecclesiastical revenues. 
The income from the Church estates was vastly in excess of former 
years, and the whole village was rent with violent struggles on 
the part of the people to secure their share of the prize after 
giving the Greek priest a meagre portion. They cast about them 
for an agent to whom they could entrust the care of the funds. 
They could not trust the priest nor the sheikh nor any one of the 
old men, and at length by unanimous consent they requested the 
Rev. J. A. Ford (father of Dr. George A. Ford), the American 
missionary, to take charge of the revenues of the Greek Church. 

This confidence of the Syrian people in the American mission- 
aries has appeared strikingly since the emigration to North 
America and Brazil began. Prosperous Syrian emigrants in 
those lands have sent thousands of pounds in drafts and postal 
orders to the missionaries in Sidon, Beirut, Tripoli, and Zahleh, 
to be cashed by them and the money to be given to the 
friends of the senders in various parts of Syria. Men of various 
sects, many of whom the missionaries have never known, send 
drafts of large sums payable to the order of the missionaty, with 
perfect confidence that the money will be honestly delivered. 
One of the missionaries had at one time thousands of dollars in 
his care, which the owners preferred that he retain and invest for 

With regard to the material gains to Syria through the mis- 
sionaries, it is worthy of note that Rev. Isaac Bird introduced the 
potato in 1827 to Ehden, Northern Lebanon, and it has now be- 
come a universal article of food throughout Syria. 

Mr. Hurter, our printer, introduced kerosene oil and lamps in 

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Missionaries Aiding Material Progress 361 

1861; into Syria so that by 1870 it had quite supplanted olive 
oil for illuminating purposes. Previous to that time olive oil was 
the only illuminating oil in use in the East. Americans also 
introduced the first steam printing-press in 1867, photographic 
camera in 1856, iron building beams in 1871, wire nails, sewing- 
machines, parlour organs in 1854, mimeographs, typewriters, 
dentistry in 1854, and agricultural machinery; Dr. Hamlin, of 
Robert College, Constantinople, introduced the Morse telegraph 
apparatus, and now the empire is netted over with telegraph 
wires. Telephones have not yet been allowed, owing to some 
peculiar fear that they might be used to concoct " treasons, strata- 
gems, and spoils," but as electric railways are now constructed in 
Damascus and Beirut we may hope that the telephone restric- 
tion may ere long be removed. 

In September, 1869, 1 wrote to a missionary in Mardin who 
seemed disposed to denounce the Arabic language as if it were a 
great sinner in having such rough gutturals and difficult idioms : 

•' I judge from Brother W 's letter that none of you are very 

fond of the Arabic language. It is a burden at first, but the 
Master, while He does not require us to love the burden, does 
tell us to love to bear it Every missionary ought to, try most 
earnestly to love the language through which he is to preach the 
Gospel of Christ to his fellow men, and that, in order that he may 
learn it well and be able to use it as not abusing it. The perfec- 
tion of art is to conceal art, and the perfection of preaching in a 
language is to preach so that the people will not think how you 
say it but what you say. Correct pronunciation of Arabic is the 
prime necessity." 

By mispronunciation a Greek bishop prayed that the Lord 
would create a clean dog (kelb, instead of kolb, heart) in each of 
His people. A missionary lady told her servant to put more don- 
keys in the bread (using " hameer " instead of" khameer," leaven). 
A missionary calling on the local governor and wishing to thank 
him for some act of his, said, " I am crazy to Your Excellency " 
(using " mejnoon " instead of " memnoon," obliged). Similar 
instances might be multiplied indefinitely — notably Dr. Dennis' 

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362 Progress and Revival 

funeral sermon in which by a mispronunciation of K, he confused 
*• trials " with *' roosters " to the mystification of the mourners. 

In October brother Samuel made a horseback forty days' tour 
of 400 miles in Northern Syria, preaching, encouraging all, and 
rejoicing in signs of progress. He went through historic regions* 
the land mentioned in Genesis as tbe land of the ** Arkites, the 
Arvadites, the Sinites, the Hamathites/' and when last heard 
from, he seemed to think that the Nusairi people of that region 
were very largely " Sinitcs." 

The type of the Beirut Press is becoming more and more 
widely regarded as the best Arabic type in the world. The dis- 
tinguished Arabic scholars in Germany, who have hitherto printed 
the Koran and many other Arabic books in the type made in 
Germany, have recently written to Dr. Van Dyck asking for 
specifications as to the price of the various fonts of type, as they 
have decided to use only the Beirut type hereafter. The Domin- 
ican monks of Mosul have purchased ^600 worth of type from 
our press for their Arabic printing work in that city. 

Mr. Poole of the British Museum recently visited our press and 
remarked that this press is the only one in the world which does 
good Arabic printing. Such testimony confirms the wisdom of 
Dr. Eli Smith and his coadjutors in basing the Beirut types on the 
best specimens of Arabic calligraphy. 

Since that time the Jesuit Press of Beirut has done admirable 

Digitized by 


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Moderator and Clerks of the General Assemblj', Saratoga, 1878. 

Dr. Bliss, Rev. Mr. Bird, and a giant pine tree, Brummana, 1901. 

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A FURLOUGH is a temporary release from service. To 
the soldier it is a release from bearing arms. To the 
foreign missionary it is a change of place and generally 
a change of work, but no relief from work. If the returned mis- 
sionary be an invalid, he may obtain absolute repose. But if he 
is in good health, he will probably have as strenuous a period of 
work as at any time in his life. I have visited America seven 
times in the past fifty years, — four times on regular furlough, and 
three times through circumstances beyond my control This has 
involved travelling 105,000 miles by sea and 50,000 miles by land 
The shortest furlough was thirteen weeks, and the longest two 
years and three months. While in America, I delivered 901 ad- 
dresses and sermons besides numerous talks to Sunday-schools. 
This was an average of 128 addresses each year, or more than 
two a week. I spoke to the students of nine theological 
seminaries, fifteen colleges, seven female colleges and seminaries, 
attended four meetings, of the American Board of Foreign Mis- 
sions, and six General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church. 

At the annual meeting of the A. B. C. F. M. in Milv^ukee, 
September, 1878, owing to the illness of Dr. Manning of Boston, 
who Mras expected to preach the opening sermon, I consented, 
on three hours' notice, to deliver the annual address. 

In May, 1879, when attending the Saratoga General Assembly 
as a commissioner from Lackawanna Presbjrtery, I found myself 
nominated to the high office of moderator. It was an embarrass- 
ing situation. The other nominees were Rev. Dr. E. F. Hatfield, 
the venerable stated clerk, and Dr. Darling of Albany, both 
friends of my sainted father. I was seated in the rear of the 
church when my dear friends, Hon. Wm. E. Dodge and Dr. 


Digitized by 


364 Furloughs 

Chas. S. Robinson, were putting me in nomination. Just ahead 
of me sat several substantial-looking elders, one of whom said to 
the other in an anxious tone, '< Do you hear ? They are 
nominating for moderator a foreign missionary who, they say, has 
never been even moderator of a presbytery, and knows little or 
nothing about conducting a great assembly. If he is elected we 
shall not get away from here for three weeks ! " Just then we 
three candidates were ordered to retire, and as we walked to- 
gether under the elms in front of the church, I resolved that, if 
called to that chair, I would let no grass grow under the feet of 
that body of grave and reverend brethren. Then came the tug of 
war. I was confronted with the necessity of appointing, before 
nine o'clock the next morning, seventeen standing committees, 
each comprising from ten to twenty men, to be selected accord- 
ing to certain fixed rules of priority and propriety from among a 
body of some 500 men, with not more than sixty-eight of whom 
I was personally acquainted. I at once sought die advice of that 
sagacious and experienced man, Dr. Hatfield, and he agreed to 
help me. I went to his room in the evening and we worked un- 
til 2 A. M., arranging and rearranging. He justly declined to take 
any responsibility, and I assumed it all. It was the hardest 
night's work I ever undertook, and I expected that many mistakes 
had been made, but it was a relief to find when the list was read 
the next morning, that there was no .outburst of dissatisfaction. 
The next week a minister called at my boarding-place and re- 
quested a private interview. He asked, " Did you appoint the 
standing committees ? " " Yes," said I, " I only am responsible. 
But why do you ask such a question ? " He said, ** Because our 
large presbytery was entirely overlooked." I said to him, '* I am 
glad to hear that only one was overlooked. I did my best, and 
if you are ever made moderator you will know how to appreciate 
the task." 

It was no easy matter to decide points of order when a 
Philadelphia lawyer took one side and a Washington judge the 
opposite view. But I had Dr. Hatfield at my left hand and Dr. 
Patton of Princeton near by, and so I piloted the ship through 

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Moderating a General Assembly 36^ 

the breakers. The assembly adjourned at the usual day and 
hour, and the pessimistic elder did not have to stay out his three 
weeks. The strain upon mind and body, through that ten days' 
assembly of three sessions each day, was severe, and it was with 
great joy and gratitude that I left Saratoga immediately after ad- 
journment for an outing among old friends in Pittsfield, Stock- 
bridge and Boston. 

I owe it to the many friends who have opened their homes to 
me and treated me as a son and brother, to acknowledge their 
loving hospitality, when I have come among them as a stranger 
from a strange land. Dr. Goodell used to say that he had already 
the '* hundredfold more in this present life, houses and lands and 
brethren,"* etc., for all the houses in Christian America were his. 
The Arabs say, in welcoming a guest, " beitna beitkum " — our 
house is your house, and this has been my glad experience in 
hundreds of houses and homes. And what a blessing it is, after 
years in a foreign land, to come for a season, and see the Ameri- 
can Christian family life, the family altars, the lovely children and 
breathe the sweet air of liberty. 

I believe in missionary furloughs. Some one has written of a 
traveller who found a missionary in Eastern Turkey, who had been 
there twenty years and this traveller had never heard of him. 
Whereupon he was filled with admiration. *' Here is the true 
missionary, who has buried himself in Mesopotamia, done good 
work and yet never been heard of — so engrossed was he in his 
great work." I knew that missionary Rev. A. W. and he Aad 
been heard from. His brethren heard from him, his Board heard 
from him and published his letters; the churches of the A. B. C. F. M. 
had heard from him and prayed for him. His college classmates, 
one of whom was my brother William of the dass of '49, Yale, 
had heard from him. Only this traveller had not heard of him. 
Ife had not read the Missionary Herald^ and probably had not 
attended the missionary meetings. And when he unearthed this 
good man at his work in a far country he thought he had made a 
discovery and is loud in his praise of the man who goes abroad 
and never shows his head in America. But there are two sides to 

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366 Furloughs 

this question. Dr. Cornelius Van Dyck, co-translator of the Bible 
with Dr. Eli Smith, came to Syria in 1840. He visited America 
in 1853* again in 1865 to electrotype the Arabic Bible, remaining 
two years, but never took another furlough. Before his death in 
December, 1895, he said to me," It is twenty-eight years since my 
last furlough. I have made a great mistake. I should have im- 
proved my regular vacations. I have lost touch with the Ameri- 
can Church and American life." Dr. Thomson, author of" The 
Land and the Book," once made a similar remark to me, and so 
did my dear friend Rev. Wm. Bird, who, when he died, in 1902, 
had not been in America for fourteen years. 

Paul and Barnabas returned to Jerusalem after a missionaiy 
tour, and " rehearsed how God had opened the door of faith unto 
the Gentiles." The Church has a right to know what its army is 
doing at the front, and will feel a deeper interest in men and 
women whom they have seen and heard. And the missionary is 
benefited by a change from what are often the depressing sur- 
roundings of life in barbarous or semi-civilized lands, to the light 
and peace and stimulating influences of the home land. He needs 
it to restore impaired energies and prolong life. It is a Christian 
labourer's duty to live as long as he can, and it is true as a rule 
that a year at home adds years to a foreign missionary's life. 
All the foreign boards believe in this, and provide stated fur- 
loughs for all their labourers in distant lands, and their officers 
are generally considerate of the health of their missionaries while 
at home. 

The variety of labour thrown upon them by the churches is a 
benefit to both parties. It is an education to the people and a 
recreation to the missionary. 

As it is not probable that I shall live to take another regular 
furlough in America (in 191 1), a word of counsel may be in place 
for young missionaries visiting home. When speaking to the 
churches and assemblies of the church, do not waste breath and 
time in scolding the people for their indifference and want of lib- 
erality. Tell them of your work — give them facts, descriptions, 
incidents. You can find out what they want to know by listening 

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Don't Curse Meroz 367 

to their questions as you visit them in their homes. Do not take 
for granted that they know anything about your field or work. 
What you regard as commonplace or stale will come to them 
with all the charm of novelty. Above all, do not '^ curse Meroz." 
I was once in a General Assembly. It was Foreign Missions Day. 
Five missionaries were to speak, preceded by two secretaries. 
We each had eight minutes allotted us, and Dr. EUinwood en- 
joined us to condense and be brief. The programme was handed 
to the moderator. A missionary from China spoke after the 
secretaries. He began deliberately an exposition of the text 
*' Curse ye Meroz," etc., and he made it hot for the pastors and 
elders, as he rebuked their shortcomings. And then he reached 
his subject, — ^' China is the greatest empire in the world. It has 
eighteen provinces." Down went tiie moderator's gavel I 
" Your time is up I " The speaker turned and said, " Why, sir, I 
have come 10,000 miles and I have just begun to speak I " Down 
went the gavel again. '^ I have no option, the time is limited." 
The speaker descended, confused and probably very indignant, 
and sat down by us in the front seat. At the close of the service 
I said to him, <' My dear brother, your mistake was in cursing 
Meroz in such an assembly as this. These good men curse 
Meroz all the year around. They wanted to hear about China 
and you used up your time in your exordium. The next time 
leave off the exordium, and begin where you ended to-day." 

Entertainment by Christian friends is one of the most delightful 
and at the same time exhausting features of a missionary's home- 
coming. In February, 1863, Dr. Daniel Bliss, who had been in 
America six months, raising funds for the new college, found 
great difficulty in securing board with his wife and three chil- 
dren. Time after time he would answer an advertisement and 
apply for rooms and board, and be met with the question, 
"Any children?" "Yes, three." "Then I cannot take you." 
In writing to me he said, " I once thought that Jeff Davis ought 
to be hung. Now I think hanging is too good for him. He 
ought to be obliged to board around and visit around for three 
)rear8 with a wife and three children I '' 

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368 Furloughs 

Rev. George Muller, of Bristol, England, visited Beirut in 1882, 
but he persistently declined to accept the hospitality of any of 
our missionary families. He said he could make a few public 
addresses, but he must then retire to his hotel and have absolute 
rest, as he could not bear the strain of visiting. You will some- 
times be aske4 to speak to a Sunday-school at 9 a. m ., preach at 
eleven, address a Y. P. S. C. E. at 5 p. m., and a union meeting 
at 7 : 30 P. M., and during the intervals a houseful of lovely chil- 
dren and youth will ply you with questions for '' that bear story," 
or " that tiger story," or, if from Africa, about the biggest python 
you ever saw, and by eleven o'clock at night you will be ex- 
hausted if not an " insomniac." A man once said that ** it was 
not the regular drinks that hurt him, but the drinking between 
drinks." It is not so much the talking at regular meetings that 
exhausts one, as the talking between talks. 

A returned missionary is often exposed to another temptation. 
Some church which you visit is without a pastor. It may offer 
you, as some have done, five times the salary you receive abroad, 
and good opportunities for the education of your children. Some 
will even dare to say, " Why should you go abroad ? Such 
men as you are, are needed at home. Anybody will do for Chinese 
coolies, Africans and Hindus. Why throw yourself away on 
such people? Men of culture and learning are needed here in 
our city churches." You will need much g^ce, patience and 
self-control to reply courteously to such low views of the great 
work of the world's evangelization. Your only way is to keep 
your hand on the plow and refuse to look back. Resist every 
such temptation. I can speak from experience. On my first 
visit to America, in July, 1857, when I went home to be married, 
I was met on landing with a package of documents, being the 
correspondence between the faculty and directors of Union Theo- 
logical Seminary, N. Y., and the secretaries of the A. B. C. F. M. 
in Boston, in which I was invited to accept the professorship of 
Biblical literature in Union Seminary, after spending two years 
in Germany (at the expense of the seminary), studying the 
Semitic languages and other needed branches. I took Ae doco* 

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Don't Look Back from the Plow 369 

ments to my room at my sister's house that night, read them 
carefvilly and prayerfully, and my decision was made in the nega- 
tive. However, not to seem wanting in respect to my old 
teachers, I agreed to meet a committee of the faculty in August, 
in New York, Drs. Robinson, Smith, Hitchcock and Prentiss. It 
was a privilege to meet th,ose revered and noble men, and not 
easy to decline to defer to their judgment Dear Dr. Robin- 
son, who, under a somewhat rough exterior, had a very tender 
heart, plead with me to accept, using arguments which in other 
circumstances would have been overwhelmingly convincing. 
Said he, ** Union Seminary was founded to train missionaries for 
home and foreign missions. We need a man in the faculty full of 
the missionary spirit, to train our students for the foreign field, 
and your knowledge of Arabic will be invaluable in teaching the 
Old Testament language and literature." The others spoke in a 
similar strain. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart, but 
told them that as all family obstacles to my returning to Syria 
were now removed, I could never consent to leave a work to 
which I had consecrated my life. I said, " You can find men 
better qualified than I am to take this professorship, but it is hard 
to find men to go abroad. How could I plead with young 
men to go, when I had voluntarily withdrawn from the work ? I 
might say to them, * You ought to go,' and they would reply, 
* Why did ^ou not go ? ' * I did go.' « Why did you return ? ' 
« I came to take this professorship.' ' Very well, we will remain 
and take pastorates and professorships without putting the 
churches to the expense of sending us out and bringing us back I ' " 
I said, " Brethren, if I should now give up my work, my lips 
would be sealed on the subject of foreign missions." 

These honoured and revered men then agreed that, in view of 
my strong convictions, they would not urge the matter further, 
and they always invited me to address the students, during my 
subsequent visits to America. 

Years after a member of the American Board said to me that 
when Judge Wm. J. Hubbard, chairman of the Prudential Com- 
mittee, heard of the invitation of Union Seminary to me, he 

Digitized by 


37^ Furloughs 

declared that " if Henry Jessup withdraws now from the foreign 
missionary work, I will never trust another man/' He probably 
had heard of some of my enthusiastic utterances when in Boston, 
at the time when I declined the St Petersburg chaplaincy, and 
thought that I was bound to stand by my word. I am thankful 
that I did It would have grieved me beyond measure to have 
done anything to discredit the sincerity of missionary consecra- 
tion. It has always been my conviction that the foreign mis- 
sionary service is a life enlistment The twelve years or more of 
study in preparation, and the formal enlistment in the great army 
of Christ, make it, at the lowest estimate, one's duty to keep at it as 
long as health and life continue. I well remember the shock I 
received on learning that a foreign missionary had resigned in 
order to write a guide-book for travellers, and another to take a 
professorship at home, and another because he became discour- 
aged and did not see fruit to his labours. 

On my second furlough I was offered the pastorate of a metro* 
politan church, with most liberal salary, far beyond anything I 
had dreamed of. Yet this made no impression on my mind 

During the furloughs of 1868 and 1883 the Lord permitted me 
to take part in the last filial offices to both of my parents. How 
can I express my gratitude for this blessed privilege I 

During my visit home in 1 882-1 884, the trustees of the coll^;e 
asked me to raise $20fi00 as a scholarship fund The lamented 
Rev. Gerald F. Dale, Jr., of Zahleh, had received a legacy of 
^10,000 which he offered to the college on condition that they 
raise $20fiOO in addition, and, as I left Beirut in June, 1882, he 
asked me to undertake the work while in America. I accepted 
the service, and in a year had raised about ^22,000, through the 
kind cooperation of the heirs and executors of the late Frederick 
Marquand, Mr. and Mrs. Elbert B. Monroe, and Mr. and Mrs. 
D. W. McWilliams, James Lenox, and many otheis. 

The various services of money raising for diflerent objects in 
Syria have brought me into contact with some of the purest 
noblest spirits the world has ever known, and I learned how 
sacredly wealthy Christian men and women regard the property 

Digitized by 


Stewards of God 371 

entrusted to them as God's stewards, and how solemn is the re- 
sponsibility of those who receive pecuniary aid from their hands. 
Among these honoured servants of God I might mention Mr. 
and Mrs. W. E. Dodge, Dr. D. Stuart Dodge, William A, Booth, 
Egbert Starr, Frederick Marquand, Levi P. Stone ; Matthias W. 
Baldwin, John A. Brown and Jay Cook of Philadelphia ; Wm. 
Thaw of Pittsburg ; Dr. Willard and daughters of Auburn ; Dr. 
Frederick Hyde, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dsde ; Henry Farnum of 
New Haven ; Mr. and Mrs. Elbert B. Monroe and Mr. and Mrs. 
D. W. McWilliams, James Lenox, Morris K. Jesup, John S. 
Kennedy, Elliott F. Shepard and many others. 

But the most touching experience of all was when I applied to 
an elderly widow lady in Philadelphia for aid in building the 
girls' school edifice in Beirut It was in November, 1864, just 
before the reelection day of Abraham Lincoln. I had been ad- 
vised to call on this lady although she had but little property. I 
found her in a beautiful neat residence with the typical white 
marble steps at the entrance. I sent in my card and she greeted 
me cordially and with beautiful grace and courtesy. At her 
request I explained our need of a building for the girls' boarding- 
school in Beirut. She listened attentively and then said, " My 
dear friend, I would gladly help you, but I have nothing to give 
but what I earn. This house is not mine. I am allowed to remain 
in it while I live. I have just sufficient income to pay my daily 
expenses. But it is such a privilege to give to the dear Lord 
that I work every day and earn money and whatever I earn goes 
into the Lord's bag and is ready at His call. If there is anything 
in the Lord's bag now, you shall have it." She then went and 
brought a little bag and emptied seven dollars into my hands, 
and said, " I give this cheerfully because it belongs to the Lord 
and you are His servant." I was deeply touched, thanked her 
heartrly, and asked her how she earned money, when she was 
nearly eighty years old. She replied that she bought up ragged 
pieces of haircloth, removed from sofas and chairs by the up- 
holsterers, and from the horsehair she made clothes-brushes, 
binding them with coloured ribbon, and selling them for a half 

Digitized by 


372 Furloughs 

dollar apiece I In this way she made several hundred dollars in 
a year, and was able to answer every call for aid. ^ She hath 
done what she could." That seven dollars put at least thirty 
stones in the girls' school building, and this gift will never be 
forgotten I 


Digitized by 



A Critical Year 

1870— The reunion in the Presbyterian Church — Our transfer from the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. 

THE year 1870 was a crisis in the history of the Syria 
Mission. It was also a crisis in my missionary life and 
cost me a severe struggle, especially on account of two 
events. The first was the transfer of our mission, in toto^ with 
all its personnel and property from the American Board to the 
new Presbyterian Board, and the second was my election to the 
secretaryship of the new Board. For fifty years the mission had 
been under the American Board. From 18 10 to 1837 the entire 
Presbyterian Church and the Dutch Reformed Church supported 
the American Board. At the disruption in 1837, the Old School 
formed a separate Presbjrterian Board, and the New School and 
the Reformed Churches continued to support the American 
Board. The New School Presbjrterian Churches had cordially 
cooperated with the Congregational and Reformed Dutch 
Churches in carrying on their foreign missions through the 
American Board, and in the Syria Mission, Fisk and Parsonsi 
Eli Smith, Calhoun, I. Bird, De Forest, and later, Wm. Bird and 
D. Bliss were Congregationalists ; while Whiting, Thomson, 
Ford, Eddy, Wilson, H. H. Jessup, S. Jessup, Dr. G. E. Post and 
J. S. Dennis were Presb}rterians, and Dr. Van Dyck was of the 
Dutch Reformed Church. 

On the reunion of the two branches of the Presbyterian Church 
a new Board of Missions was formed, and as the New School 
Pre8b}rterians were about to withdraw their contributions from the 
American Board, it was agreed that they should assume the 
charge of a fair proportion of the missions. 
Various questions of a practical character had to be decided, 


Digitized by 


374 A Critical Year 

on the completion of this transfer. The title of all the Board's 
property had to be transferred to the new Board. The mission 
unanimously adopted the form of government and confession of 
faith of the Pretb)^erian Church. Yet we reserved the right to 
continue our connection with our home presbyteries, and to make 
the future presb)^erie8 of Syria independent ecclesiastically of the 
General Assembly in the United States. This policy has con- 
tinued to this day, and we believe that it tends to promote a feel- 
ing of loyalty and patriotic devotion to their Church on the part 
of the Syrian Christians. The missionaries sit with them as cor- 
responding members and only vote when such action is approved 
by the Syrian members. 

The Franco-German War was then raging, and we feared lest 
our letters home be interrupted in transit. It was a year of 
great political excitement throughout the East. On the 25th of 
October the people of Syria were thrown into consternation by a 
display of the northern lights or aurora borealis. '' This evening 
we have had a phenomenon such as the oldest inhabitant of 
Syria has never witnessed, a magnificent red aurora borealis ; a 
perfect glare of red light arching the horizon to the height of 
about twenty degrees, and shooting out streamers of light to the 
zenith. No Syrian had ever seen the like, and the people were 
greatly alarmed. The great aurora of 1837 ^^ seen in Georgia 
just about our latitude, but was not visible here. Sheikh Has- 
sein, the old Druse who owns our house, trembled with fear when 
I called him out to see it, and he asked whether it was not the 
flames of Paris being burned by the Germans. It was certainly 
startling to see that blood-red arch in the North." The oldest 
inhabitant had never seen it before and now thirty-eight years 
have passed and there has not been another display. I was in 
Abeih, Mount Lebanon, at the time. The Druse begs came to 
Mr. Calhoun and myself for an explanation of this awful noc- 
turnal glare. They, too, thought it was Paris burning ! We ex- 
plained it, and told them it was a common occurrence in Amer- 
ica and all Northern countries, and was the '' Shefuk Shemali *' 
known to astronomers and meteorologists. 

Digitized by 


Secretaryship of the New Board 375 

Another event happened in 1870 which cost me a struggle. 
*On the 18th of July I received letters from Rev, Dr. Robert 
Booth, Rev. Dr. Lowrie and others, stating that the Board of 
Foreign Missions of the Reunited Presbjrterian Church had unan- 
imously elected me corresponding secretary, with the request 
that I accept and come on to New York as soon as possible. I 
read the letter with astonishment- <<In matteis of conscience, 
first thoughts are best." It was an attractive offer, — a permanent 
residence in the home land with facilities for the education of the 
children, and a position bringing one into contact with the most 
consecrated of God's people at home, and the devoted mission- 
aries abroad ; the confidence of such a body of men as the new 
Board and the assurance of their sympathy ; their taking it for 
granted that I would come and their conviction that I would be 
more useful there than here ; all these things pressed upon me 
but did not move me. After prayer and consultation with my 
wife, my decision was made. I said to her, <' I cannot leave my 
work in Syrisi, after all these years of preparation. My heart is 
here. I shall decline." She replied, " I knew you would, and I 
am with you." 

On July 24th I wrote my formal reply to Dr. Booth. After 
an introduction thanking him and the Board for their kind and 
flattering letters and expressing my joy in the reunion of the 
Church, I stated that '<I am giving expression to no hastily 
formed judgment, but to deliberate convictions formed after years 
of thought and prayer and calm examination." 

Among my reasons for declining were the following ones: 
Any missionary who has been engaged fifteen years in the for- 
eign field, especially in the Arabic language, is of more value to 
the field in which he is labouring than he can be at home to the 
general cause of missions. The acquisition of a foreign language 
is no easy task and it is not a mantle which can be transferred 
from the aged Elijahs to the youthful Elishas of the service. 
When a missionary dies, his Arabic dies with him, and when he 
leaves the country he cannot transmit his facility in using for- 
eign gutturals and idioms to the new recruits. 

Digitized by 


376 A Critical Year 

The same may be said of acquaintance with the mental, moral 
and religious peculiarities of the people, familiarity with their 
manners and customs, and readiness of adaptation to their social 
prejudices. The capital stock laid up by a missionary in fifteen 
years, in these respects, yields a large and rapidly accumulating 
interest, whereas a sudden transfer to another land and sphere 
of labour would render this peculiar knowledge almost value- 

Should a missionary be obliged in the providence of God to 
leave his field and return to his native land, he would naturally 
seek a position in which he could best promote the cause nearest 
to his heart. And his experience in the foreign field would be 
of the highest value to the cause of missions both at home and 
abroad, as has been proved in several notable instances familiar 
to all, tK>th in Great Britain and the United States. 

The voluntary abandonment of his field and work by a foreign 
missionary for any post at home, must have a demoralizing effect 
on the churches at home and would tend to unsettle the stability 
of the whole s}rstem and theory of foreign missions. An enlist- 
ment in this sacred cause should be ever r^arded as for life. 
Young men at home should so regard it, and it will not do to 
lower this standard. No foreign missionary can labour as effect- 
ively as he ought, who leaves the matter of his continuance in 
it an open question. On reaching his field of labour, he should, 
like Cortez, bum his ships behind him. Then only will die 
churches and seminaries and institutions at home feel that foreign 
missionaries are a kind of property which is inalienable. Then 
only will the missionary boards feel sure that the men who 
ofTer themselves for the foreign field have given up all for 

To speak somewhat more personally and very frankly, I can- 
not conscientiously give up my work in S)rria. However feeble 
and unworthy my labours, my heart is here. I came for life, and 
I pray that I may be permitted to end my days among this 
people. Your churches can far better spare their best pastors for 
this work than can an overworked and feebly-manned mission. 

Digitized by 


Moving to the Mountains 377 

struggling with the hosts of heathenism, Islamism and false Chris- 
tianity, spare one labourer.^ 

If a man is needed in this office, fresh from the foreign field, 
*' to arouse the enthusiasm of the churches to a new degree of 
fervour/' could not certain of the foreign missionaries connected 
with the missions about to be transferred to the Presbyterian 
Church, as wdl as from other missions in Asia and Africa, visit 
the United States from time to time, make the acquaintance of 
the churches East and West, and aid in stirring up the people ? 
This would be a very different matter from calling any man per- 
manently away from his field. A series of missionary conven- 
tions, distinct from the business meetings of the presbyteries (if 
thought best) and attended by the secretaries and returned mis- 
sionaries would attain the end we all have in view in the most 
effective manner.' 

On October 25th I wrote to my brother George from Abeih : 
" This moving to Lebanon and back to Beirut every year is one 
of the wearing trials of missionary life. I often think of the old 
home at Montrose as a model home, where things remain in place 
for a generation. But we have to tear up and pack up almost 
everything twice a year. We stay six months in Abeih, and 
hence have to bring everything with us that is perishable, leaving 
only crockery, books, furniture and one bed with its bedding, to 
be used when I go down from time to time. A camel carries our 
large melodeon organ in a huge box balanced on the middle of 
his back and the rest of the furniture is carried on mules. A 
mule will carry two large boxes with a couple of chairs in the 
middle, and frequently tiie chair legs catch in the trees and are 
torn off. Once a mule ran down a long flight of stone steps with 
one of our chests half-fastened to his pack-saddle and it fell and 

' It 18 worthy of note that the God of missions has provided for the 
new Presbyterian Board a succession of secretaries, eminent men, almost 
without peers in the church : Dr. F. F. EUinwood, the saintly scholar. 
Dr. Gillespie, Dr. Arthur Mitchell, Dr. A. J. Brown, Dr. Halsey, 
Robert Speer and Dr. Stanley White. 

'Such meetings are now (1908) a part of the policy of the Church* 

Digitized by 


378 A Critical Year 

was dragged down the steps, the cover being split and torn oft 
It contained bedding and our pictures and small mirrors, but none 
of them were broken ! Were I able, I should have a complete 
duplicate set of furniture and put a stop to this endless pack." 

The year 1870 was a time of drought and almost a famine. 
Flour reached ^12.50 a barrel, and near Mount Carmel men 
starved to death. A war panic arose through rumours of war with 
Russia, and the Christians of Damascus began to prepare to flee 
to Beirut, as the proverb has it : " One bitten by a snake fears 
the twirling of a rope." But no war ensued and Syria was soon 
quiet again. 

When we were transferred to the Presbyterian Board, we felt 
great anxiety about the time and attention to be given to foreign 
missions in our General Assembly. I wrote to my brother 
Judge Wm. H. Jessup, and my brother-in-law Judge Alfred Hand 
of Scranton, as follows : 

<' December 5, 1870 — I hope you and Alfred will push the 
matter of an annual missionary convention, either in connec- 
tion with the General Assembly or in the synods in the fall, 
which shall have all the vigour and enthusiasm of the annual 
meeting of the American Board. The custom of assigning to 
the missionary secretaries an hour in the morning and a part of 
an evening to this all-important work in such a Church as ours 
is like trifling with the most momentous interests. The working 
out of this plan and the reviving of missionary enthusiasm must 
be done largely by the young elders and Sunday-school superin- 
tendents : you could not do a better or more efficient work for 
foreign missions." * 

On the same date I wrote to Rev. D. Stuart Dodge : '< Let 
us pray for a baptism of the Spirit upon the young men of die 
colleges. We hear of two or three candidates for the next 
theological class, but all plain non-classically educated men." 

This was our burden in 1870, and it is the same in 1909. 

^ 1908— This has become an established part of the General Assembly 
meetings largely through the efforts of the late Rev. Thoi. Marshall, of 
blessed memory. 

Digitized by 


Dodds* Snake Story 379 

M edicine, commerce, and other lucrative professions over-tempt 
our Christian college students, and they pass by the theological 
seminary <' on the other side." 

A sad event of this year was the death (about December 12th) 
of Rev. R. J. Dodds, D. D., of the Reformed Presbyterian Mis- 
sion in Aleppo. He was a man of earnest piety and fine lin- 
guistic attainments. He was at home among the wild fellahin 
of the Nusairiyeh Mountains, and would go alone on a donkey 
from village to village, and was welcomed everywhere, while 
Kamil Pasha, Governor of Hamath, declared that he could not go 
through the mountains unless attended by 100 soldiers. When 
the pasha heard of Dr. Dodds' popularity among the tribes as 
a friend and a man of peace, he wrote to Constantinople asking 
permission to try a new system of government over the wild 
Nusairiyeh and win them instead of alienating them. In reply 
he got new orders to oppress and tax them as of old. 

In November, 1876, my brother Samuel and I embarked on 
the Russian steamer for Tripoli, en route for Hums and the in- 
terior. We expected to land in Tripoli at sunrise, but a north- 
east gale frightened the captain, and he ran by Tripoli, carrying 
us on to Latakia, then the home of Dr. Dodds. He welcomed 
us, and we had a delightful visit of a week. ' One day he said, 
** Why don't you brethren come oftener to see us ? It seems 
that nothing but a storm will bring you. This reminds me of 
the old godless mountaineer in Kentucky who had four sons, 
and all equally profane, godless, and Sabbath-breaking with him- 
self. No persuasion would induce them to go to church, or re- 
ceive a visit from a minister. But one day Jim, the elder boy, 
was bitten by a rattlesnake, and the old man sent off post-haste 
for the minister. He came, and, on entering the room, took off 
his hat and began to pray: * O Lord, we thank Thee for rattle- 
snakes and we pray Thee to send one to bite Tom, and one to 
bite Ike, and another to bite Jerry, and a tremendous big fellow 
to bite the old man ! For, Lord, Thou knowest that nothing but 
rattlesnakes will ever bring them to their senses 1 ' And so," said 
Dr. Dodds, ** I will have to pray for another storm to bring Dr. 

Digitized by 


380 A Critical Year 

Van Dycky and one to bring Dr. Thomson, and a tremendous big 
storm to bring Father Calhoun, for it seems that nothing but 
storms will bring any of you brethren to see us I " 

I told Dr. Dodds that I was engaged in collecting a barrel full 
of snakes for Professor Cope of Philadelphia. He said, '< You 
could have got twenty barrels here last winter. The river here 
changed its course in a heavy freshet, and the banks in which 
hundreds of snakes were hibernating caved in, and the snakes 
were washed down to the sea. There the waves dashed them 
up on the shore in heaps, and the dogs and vultures feasted on 
them for many days." 

In the spring of 1870 an educated Moslem effendi, named 
M , of Aleppo, came to Beirut and professed Christianity. 
His cousin Ahmed, on hearing of it, set out for Beirut to kill 
him. When the Waly of Aleppo knew of this, he recalled 
Ahmed, and told him to desist, as the Sultan had given liberty to 
his subjects. In the fall Ahmed was made pasha» and came to 
Beirut, where his cousin received him cordially and took him to 
see the college, and to witness Dr. Van Dyck's chemical experi- 
ments in the evening, in which he was intensely interested. The 
days of killing cousins on account of apostasy are evidently over. 
M afterwards removed to Egypt 

Dr. Richard Newton, rector of the Church of the Epiphany, 
Philadelphia, visited Beirut in April, 1870. He was snowed in 
for two days near Baalbec. He was a broad-minded evangelical 
clergyman and was known as the Children's Preacher. He be- 
came interested in our work and promised to pay the expense 
of translating and printing his volumes of children's sermons in 
Arabic. He kept his word and we have nine volumes of his, be- 
sides his large octavo illustrated '' Life of Christ for the Young,'* 
published at our press and widely circulated. When in Phila- 
delphia in 1879 he invited me to address a crowded audience of 
children in his church on Chestnut Street, Philaddphia. The 
total cost of publishing all these tK>oks was not less than four 
thousand dollars. 

Early in March Syria was threatened with famine. Less than 

Digitized by 


Famine and Drought 381 

one-third the usual amount of rain had fallen. " Streams that 
usually run with full banks are dry. Fountains (springs) and 
wells are running low. A Druse sheikh told me that cattle are 
dying in Hauran for want of water. The cisterns are being ex- 
hausted and no rain falls. How this reminds one of the words 
of Amos 4:7: <I have withholden the rain from you when 
there were yet tAree months to the harvest and I caused it to rain 
upon one dty and caused it not to rain upon another. So two 
or three cities wandered unto one city to drink water but they 
were not satisfied.' The great rock-hewn cistern of our female 
seminary, which holds nearly thirty thousand gallons of water 
and which is generally full at this season, has scarcely a foot of 
water in it The barley and wheat are turning yellow. The 
price of wheat and flour has risen fifty per cent within a fort- 
night. All the sects of the city have been ordered out twice to 
the public square to pray for rain. The locusts also came over 
the land in swarms darkening the sky, and a fierce burning 
sirocco wind blew from the south, parching the earth and with- 
ering vegetation. A strange shower of red particles fell near 
Gaza which the superstitious people thought to be a shower of 
blood, and the eclipse of the moon in January had alarmed the 

But relief came. In the latter part of March and in April the 
storm came on with thunder, lightning and pouring rain, just in 
time to save the crops. I was stormed-stayed in Damascus, April 
7th, with my dear friend and classmate in Union Seminary, Dr. 
Charles S. Robinson, then pastor of the American chapel in 
Paris, by a heavy snow-storm which blocked the passes of 
Lebanon. Rev. Newman Hall's party were snow-bound two 
days in a village in Anti-Lebanon. 

In May we were favoured with a visit from three men dis- 
tinguished in the Church at home and abroad : Professors Henry B. 
Smith, Roswell D. Hitchcock and Edwards A. Park who had 
toured through Egypt, Sinai and Palestine, and came up from 
Beirut to visit us in Abeih. Professor Smith was my guest, 
Professor Park was at Mr. Calhoun's and Professor Hitchcock at 

Digitized by 


382 A Critical Year 

Mr. Bird's. The boys of the seminary and theological dass went 
out a mile to Ain Kesur to meet them with Arabic hymns and 
salutations. Their stay was a feast of fat things to us dl, and we 
received many suggestions as to our teaching of theology, 
church history, and Scripture exegesis. 

One afternoon we all walked to the mountain peak, the 
'< Metaiyyer/' the site of an old Baal temple, to get the wonder- 
ful view of the Lebanon gorges and ranges, and the coast from 
Sarepta to Sidon, Beirut, and nearly to Tripoli. Professor Park, 
who had been kicked by a mule on his journey, rode a donkey. 
As we walked up through the vineyards in scattered groups. 
Professor Hitchcock said to me aside, " Have you not noticed how 
feeble Professor Smith is ? Do urge him to stay abroad another 
year. He needs rest, but he insists that he must go back to his 
classes in Union next fall. We must not allow it I can go back 
and take on some extra work, but he must rest still longer." 

When we reached the summit and sat enjoying the view, 
Professor Smith said to me, " I want to ask you as a friend to join 
with Mr. Calhoun in urging Professor Park to remain abroad at 
least another year. He is very much broken, and if he goes 
back in September, as he declares he must, he will be sure to be 
permanently laid aside." On our return Professor Park said to me 
in a low tone, so as not to be heard by the rest of the party, 
'' You may have noticed how changed Professor Hitchcock is. 
He is not like his former self. Another year in Europe and Eng- 
land, with entire rest, would make a new man of him, and yet I am 
sorry to say he talks of going directly home this fall" Each one 
felt that he was strong and the other weak. Two at least of them 
went home that fall They were a blessed trio, such as one does 
not often meet in this world. Mr. Calhoun, who was a profound 
student of the Bible and of divine things, had long conversations 
with Professor Park, the giant of Andover, and before going 
away, Professor Park remarked that there was more theology in 
Mr. Calhoun's finger than in his own thigh, and that he was a 
man who lived near to God That afternoon at the high place of 
Baal was to us one of the " heavenly places in Christ Jesus." 

Digitized by 


A Cannie Scot 383 

On the 3d of June we met in conference, by previous arrange- 
menty with the Rev. Dr. Alexander Duff and Rev. Principal J. 
Lumsden of Aberdeen, of the Free Church of Scotland's Mis* 
sion's Committee to consider their proposition to send out Scotch 
ministers to oversee what were known as the Lebanon Schook or 
the '* SuUeeba Schools." There were present all the members of 
our mission, the professors of the college, Rev. James Robertson, 
Scotch chaplain in Beirut, and Rev. John Hogg of Assioot, Egypt 
Drs. DufT and Lumsden had visited all our mission stations and 
schools, and the village schools of the '^ Lebanon Committee." 
These ^* Lebanon Schools " had been for years under the manage- 
ment of a native Syrian and had been visited by numerous Scotch 
tourists who differed in opinion as to their management, and as k 
result had formed opposing factions in Scotland pro and con. 
These two eminent men came out determined to make full in- 
vestigation. We had two sessions of three hours each in Dr. 
Kiss's house, and the conference was full, free and fraternal. 
We of the S}rria Mission approved of dieir sending out such a man 
to superintend die schools, but not to organize churches. We 
declined to say anything about Mr. whom Dr. DufT de- 
clared to be a second Apostle Paul. Mr. had purchased 

land in Suk d Gharb, Mount Lebanon, and erected solid stone 
buildings for the day and boarding-schools and had the names 
Alexander DufT and John Lumsden inscribed in large characters 

in the stone wall. Dr. DufT understood Mr. to say that all 

these buildings belonged to the Scotch committee. In 1872 the 
Scotch committee sent out an able and godly missionary, Rev. 
John Rae, to take over the property and manage the Lebanon 
Schools. He went to Suk el Gharb, took a house, and asked 

Mr. for the keys of the mission buildings. He refused to 

deliver them, saying that as the land belonged to him all the 
buildings, according to the Turkish law, go with the land. Mr. 
Rae repeated the request with the same restilt Meantime Drs. 

DufT and Lumsden had published enconiums upon Mr. 

which would have been appropriate to die Aposties Paul and 
Peter. What then was dieir astonishment to find that he now 

Digitized by 


384 A Critical Year 

went back on his pledge to them that the buildings belonged to 
the committee. Correspondence ensued. Mr. Rae was instructed 
to repeat the demand, but all was in vain. Drs. Duff and Lumsden 
then published a card in the Scotch journals exposing the whole 

matter and denouncing Mr. in language which I will not 

repeat, declaring that they had been shamefully deceived and im- 
posed upon, and warning the Scotch churches against him. In 
1874 Mr. Rae, finding himself uncomfortable at Suk, removed the 
mission headquarters to Shweir, and in 1875 Wm. Carslaw, M. D., 
joined the mission and laboured with Mr. Rae until the resignation 
of the latter in 1 879 owing to ill health. In 1 887 the law case against 

Mr. was decided, and the Suk property handed over to 

Dr. Carslaw with all the title deeds and the furniture of the schools. 
The whole difficulty arose from the fact that the Scotch com- 
mittee, ignorant of Turkish law, had allowed their buildings to be 
erected on land belonging to an employee, and that this individual, 
knowing the law, had concealed the facts from them. After Dr. 
Carslaw had secured the title deeds, he sold the entire premises in 
Suk to the American Presbyterian Mission in 1888 ; and in 1900 
the Scotch committee donated in fee simple the entire property 
in Shweir, consisting of church, manse, boys' boarding-school and 
girls' boarding-school to the American Presbyterian Mission, on 
condition : ist, That these buildings be used only for Christian 
missionary purposes, and 2d, That the Missionary Committee of 
the Free Church of Scotland will continue the salary of Rev. 
William Carslaw so long as he is able and willing to do mission- 
ary work. Dr. Carslaw was licensed and ordained to the gospel 
ministry by the Lebanon Presbytery, December 16, 1883, and has 
continued until the present time as acting pastor of the Shweir 
church. Dr. Carslaw always preaches in English, his translator 
standing by his side and interpreting his sermons in Arabic. 
This is probably the only case of tiie kind in the Turkish 
Empire. The doctor was forced into it by having entered the 
work in mature years when the acquisition of a new language was 
difficult, and from the fact that from the outset he was over- 
whelmed with medical practice, and given no time to study the 

Digitized by 


Needed Endowments 38^ 

Arabic His great success as a teacher in the school and pastor 
of the church is greatly to his credit. Few men in similar cir- 
cumstances could have succeeded so well. 

In view of the raiding of a ^5,000,000 reunion memorial fund 
to aid churches and institutions at home and abroad, I wrote on 
behalf of Syria, asking for a building fund for the S)rrian Protes- 
tant College which had just purchased its incomparable site on the 
Beirut promontory ; an endowment of ^50,000 for the theological 
seminary ; and an endowment of ^25,000 for the female seminary. 
The former was realized. The two latter schools were soon after- 
wards assumed by the Presbyterian Board of Missions and kept 
up liberally to this day, 1909. 

Digitized by 



Antonius Yanni — ^A Sketch 

ABOUT the year 1770 a Greek 8ea<aptain named Mikfaadi 
Yanni left the island of Mykonos in the Archipelago for 
a trading cruise on die Syrian^coast He was wrecked 
near Tripoli, losing everything. In Tripoli he found a country- 
man named Catzeflis, a secretary to the British consulate, and 
soon after he married a Syrian girl, but died at Damietta while on ' 
a voyage to Egypt, leaving three sons and one daughter. Catze- 
flis, who succeeded Mr. Cary as British consul, married the 
daughter. Giurgius,the son of Yanni, became British dragoman, 
and was allowed to wear a white turban while other Christians 
wore only black. The Moslems admired him and styled him 
<' Nusf ed Dinya, one-half of the world/' a name which they ap- 
plied to his family for many years. 

Giurgius died in 1832, after building his large house (now the 
American Girls' School), leaving a widow, three sons, Antonius, 
Ishoc (Isaac), Nicolas (who died in his youth), and a daughter, 

At that time, Ibrahim Pasha, son of Mohammed Ali of Egypt, 
was establishing his government in Syria, and attempted to seize 
the Yanni house. But in the night the Catzeflis consuls raised a 
flagstaff over the building and in the morning the stars and 
stripes floated in the breeze and gave protection to that mansion 
for fifty-four years. 

The two sons grew up models of filial obedience. Antonius, 
the elder, an impulsive, generous youth of a noble countenance 
and a warm nature, even surpassed his parents in the intensity of 
his devotion to the Greek Church. He would travel miles on 
foot to make tours to the monasteries of Keftin and Belmont, and 
in fastings and vigils was more rigid than even the priests and 


Digitized by 


The Tenible Tract 387 

monks. Ishoc (Isaac), the younger, was phlegmatic, cold, and 
haughty, yet no less strict in the formal observances of the rites 
of the Greek Church. Both received instruction in the Italian 
language, then the commercial language of the Eastern Mediter- 
ranean, and as the French came more into use, Ishoc learned this 
language also. Their sister, Katrina, was the most beautiful 
woman in Tripoli and was called the flower of Syria. All the 
family were attached to one another with a degree of affection not 
often seen in the East. 

The father died of cholera about the year 1845, and Antonius 
received the appointment of consular agent in Tripoli for the 
United States, an office held by his father. There was but little 
business connected with the office, as American ships rarely visit 
Tripoli, but it required the erection of a flagstaff above the 
house, on which the stars and stripes floated on every official fete 
day. Antonius had seen Americans from time to time, but knew 
little of them, and regarded their religion as worse than atheism 
or Islamism. It was not a Uttle trying to him to hold office for 
a nation who refused to worship the Virgin. 

One day word was brought to him that one of the American 
Bible men, or missionaries, was at the Meena, the port city of 
Tripoli. He went at once in his official capacity to pay his 
salaams to Dr. Thomson. He listened half trembling to his 
words, but treated him with the greatest courtesy, and invited 
him to come to his mother's house as their guest, before leaving 
Tripoli, but what was his horror to find himself obliged by the 
rules of politeness to accept an Arabic tract from the doctor's 
hand before going home. On leaving the house of the blind 
school-teacher, with whom Dr. Thomson was staying, he seized 
one corner of the tract with his thumb and finger, and ran across 
the plain through the orange gardens, a full mile to Tripoli, then 
in at the city gate, up the stairs and across the marble court of 
his mother's house, and into the kitchen, where he put the heret- 
ical paper in the fire and watched it bum to ashes. Then away 
he ran to the family priest, and told him he had a dreadful sin to 
confess. The priest listened and promised to forgive him for fiv^ 

Digitized by 


388 Antonius Yanni 

piastres (twenty cents), but when he found that Antonius had 
burned the tract without even looking at it, rebuked him, saying 
that it may have been a part of the Word of God or had in it the 
name of God in which case he must pay another five piastres for 
his twofold sin. He went away in great distress, and hastened 
back to the old blind teacher, Abu Yusef, to find out what the 
tract contained. He told him it consisted of a selection of the 
Psalms of David. The poor young man was filled with terror. 
The Orientals have a high reverence for holy books, even for 
those of their enemies, and this reverence is in many a superstition. 
He had burned up the words of David the prophet ! From this 
time his conscience was not at rest, and when the missionaries 
Foot and Wilson removed to Tripoli a few years later, he was 
their constant guest Day after day he read the Bible with them, 
until the truth took lodgment in his heart. Mother, brother, 
sister, and uncles protested, entreated, threatened, but all to no 
effect. The whole city was in commotion. Young Yanni, the 
pride of his family, the hope of the church, the joy of the priests, 
the friend of the poor, had become a " Biblischy," a Bible man. 

The old Greek bishop, a foreign Greek from Athens, who 
had lived twenty-five years in Tripoli without learning the Arabic 
language, came to the house with a retinue of priests to reform 
and save the heretic youth. But all to no effect Yanni (An- 
tonius) stood his ground. '< Is not this the Gospel ? Are not 
these the ten commandments ? How can I worship the Virgin 
and the saints and kneel down and pray to pictures and kiss them 
when the Bible forbids it ? " They flattered and threatened al- 
ternately. His mother and sister fell on his neck and wept, en- 
treating him to return from his terrible sin and heresy. His 
brother stormed with fury and denounced him as having ruined 
the name and fame of the family in Tripoli. 

Then the priests tried the old device of a compromise telling 
him to believe what he pleased, only come to the Greek Church 
on Sundays and feast days and save the honour of the family. 
His wife Kareemy, of another " akabir " family, was goaded 
almost to desperation by the prospect of losing all the ancient 

Digitized by 


Making a Good Profession 389 

honour of her family by her husband's defection to the Protes- 
tants. Still he had not yet communed in the Protestant Churchy 
and they were determined he should not. Under the patient in- 
structions of the missionaries, his Christian conviction deepened 
and his character shone brighter. His former zeal for saints and 
vows and monastic shrines was now turned into zeal for the 
Grospel and doing good, and he determined to profess Christ 
before men. It was mid-winter, the Syrian rainy season, and 
Beirut was fifty miles south, down the rocky coast. But the 
church was there, then the only organized evangelical church in 
Syria, and he determined to go. The sky was black, the west 
wind blowing a tempestuous gale from the stormy sea, and the rain 
pouring in torrents when he decided on this step. The next 
Sabbath was the communion season, and he felt he could delay no 
longer. The family were now determined to retain him by force, 
and the storm outside was as nothing compared with the domestic 
storm within. Wife, mother, brother, sister, uncles, cousins, 
priests, and friends poured in and all united in protesting against 
his course, and finally cursed him in bitterness of soul for his 
apostasy. None of these things moved him. Taking with him 
a faithful Moslem servant, he set out in the dark storm on horse- 
back. Brought up in the most delicate manner, and unused to 
exposure he felt that he was running a great risk, and his family 
called after him with imprecations hoping that he would be 
drowned in fording the swollen streams, or cast away by the 
violence of the storm. 

But on he went, along the sandy beach, or through the rocky 
defiles of the Meseilaha, down by Gebail, where Hiram launched 
the cedar floats for the temple of Solomon ; and by the Dog 
River, where the Ass3rrian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman had 
hewn their roads and written their inscriptions centuries ago, and 
finally reached Beirut, rejoicing in the God of his salvation. 

He returned to Tripoli to find his dearest friends alienated. 
Taunts, reproaches, neglect, bitter words, and unconcealed hate 
made his life a burden. 

The greatest anathema of the Greek Church was hurled against 

Digitized by 


39<^ Antonius Yanni 

him. A curse was pronounced against every one who should buy 
of him, sell to him, or even speak to him. His head and body, 
eyes and ears, hands and feet, skin, teeth, and bones were de- 
clared accursed for time and eternity. His home was changed to 
a scene of strife and bitterness. The native politeness of the 
family prevented their showing their hostility in the presence of 
the missionaries, but years after when the writer of this sketch 
lived in Tripoli, Yanni often came to our houses as the only 
places in the city where he was cordially welcome. Yet not the 
only place. Sheikh AH, the keeper of the Great Mosque, with his 
family of brothers, all zealous Moslems and yet kind-hearted men, 
seemed really to love Yanni, and he visited them and other Mos- 
lems, always meeting with warm sympathy in his rejection of the 
idolatrous practice of the Greeks. It is remarkable to observe 
the sympathy of the more intelligent Mohammedans throughout 
the East with Protestant Christianity. They abhor the Greek 
and Roman creature worship, and regard all Christians as idol- 
ators, until they see Christianity in all its original simplicity as 
preached and exemplified by Protestant missionaries and thm 
converts. They thus respect Protestant Christianity while un- 
willing to admit that Christ is the divine Saviour. 

Yanni's brother Ishoc was at length appointed consular i^ent 
for Belgium, and named his little son I^opold from the Belgium 
king. His hostility to his brother's religious views grew more 
and more intense. He joined with the rest of the family in the 
growing persecution against Yanni, and as Yanni's Christian 
character was more and more developed, and he showed more of 
the graces of forgiveness and love and patience, Ishoc looked 
down upon him with cold contempt. 

But the maternal uncle, Michael Habeeb, was the most unre- 
lenting and bitter of all. Ishoc was always outwardly polite to 
the missionaries, but Michael would not even return a salutation 
in the street He seemed overwhelmed with a morbid indigna- 
tion that his most promising nephew should have apostatized 
from the Greek Church. Im Antonius, his sister, the mother of 
Yanni^ one of the finest specimens I ever saw of the Oriental 

Digitized by 


Perseverance in the Faith 391 

inatroiif ceased not to weep and grieve over her idolized son's 
defection from the faith. The sight of his Arabic Bible would 
always drive her from the room. Pride of family and pride of 
sect combined to stifle maternal love. On the great fast and feast 
days, when she took the whole family to the Greek Church and 
Yanni remained at borne^ he had at times great difficulty to get 
bis daily bread. 

Meantime he was instant in season and out of season in doing 
good. His unswerving integrity and £Euthfulness, and his sunny 
disposition won him friends on every side. His official position 
shielded him from public personal insult and injury, but his char- 
acter impressed all of every sect with his great sincerity. Every 
morning before day, he took his Bible and went to an upper 
chamber alone and communed with his God. At times when the 
family attempted to disturb him, he went up to the housetop and 
on the flat roof, sat or walked and meditated on divine things. 
He wrestled in prayer for the unconverted members of the family. 
He taught his son Giurgius to pray and read the Bible and his 
daughter Theodora soon learned to refuse to kiss the pictures 
and pray to the Virgin and the saints. By degrees the opposi- 
tion of his wife Kareemy was softened, and Yanni used to say 
that if he could only remove to another town, his wife would 
take an open stand as a Protestant. 

He loved America passionately, and his sympathies were so 
thoroughly enlisted during the Civil War, that he sent contribu- 
tions of Syrian curiosities, such as cedar cones and wood and sea- 
shells, etc, which were sold at Worcester in September, 1864, 
during the meeting of the American Board for several hundred 
dollars for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission. Just before 
this a great sorrow, mingled with what to him was a great joy, 
visited the family circle. Ishoc, the proud, hard-hearted brother, 
was attacked by a mortal disease. The skill of physicians was 
baffled. Yanni was assiduous in his attentions to the loved sufler- 
ing brother. He spent nearly the whole of one night conversing 
with Dr. Van Dyck of Beirut by telegraph about the case ; but 
all without avail. The disease moved on unchecked. From the 

Digitized by 


392 Antonius Yanni 

very outset the proud persecuting Ishoc seemed softened. He 
seemed to know that his end was near. Every day he called his 
brother Antonius and begged him to read to him from the Bible. 
He listened with all the eagerness of a dying man, and his brother 
explained the meaning to his opening understanding. Yanni 
talked to him and prayed with him and at length he said, *' Now 
read to me about some ^eaf sinner who was saved.'' Yanni 
read to him of the publican and of Zaccheus. *' No, a greater 
sinner than any of them/' said he. Then Yanni read to him of 
the thief on the cross. ** That comes nearer to my case — ^read 
that again." Again and again he read it over, and Ishoc seemed 
to lay hold of Christ, and at length declared that Christ was the 
only Saviour of lost sinners. From that time he told his mother 
to take away the sacred ** eikonat " or pictures, which had been 
hung all around the head of his bed through the zeal of his 
mother and his wife Adelaide. " Take them away," he said. ** It 
is trifling to trust in pictures. Such a religion will never do to 
die by." He begged and entreated his wife and mother to trust 
in Christ alone. Towards the last, a company of priests, with 
their black flowing robes and swinging censers, came to bum 
incense and ofler their prayers to the Virgin Mary on his behalf. 
He saw them entering the room, and beckoned them to stop, 
telling them and all the family that he had done forever with such 
things, and could not allow anything now to come between him 
and his Saviour. They were astonished at the change wrought 
in him, but he called to his brother and said, ** Bring the Bible 
now and read to the priests also that they too may be profited." 

Just before he died, he called his whole family around his bed, 
and spoke in a clear voice of his trust in Jesus as his Saviour, and 
raising both hands, he called in a loud voice, ^' None but Christ," 
and died. 

Such a death produced a profound impression. Family perse- 
cution ceased. His mother, instead of leaving the room when the 
Bible was brought, began to go up to his upper room every 
morning and carry the Bible to Yanni to read and listened in- 
tently while he prayed. Even the Unde Michael was less bitter 

Digitized by 


Winning His Relatives to Christ 393 

in his opposition. The missionaries were welcomed more and 
more at the house, and Yanni's son Giurgius, with Ishoc's son 
Leopold, was placed in the mission school with the full approba- 
tion of all the family. 

One day word came that his Uncle Michael was very ill, and 
wished to see Yanni. He hastened to the house and found a 
large company of the people and priests crowded in the sick- 
room. The old man called to him as he entered, saying, " Bring 
your Bible and read to me and pray to me as you did with Ishoc/' 
The Bible was brought. Michael told the priests, '* I have done 
with you. Christ alone can save the soul and the rest of my 
hours must be given to Him." He would hardly allow Yanni to 
leave the room, and grasped every word of consolation contained 
in the Gospel, and every promise to the sinner with the greatest 
joy. One day he called out to his son saying, *' Gibraeel, go to 
such a street and call Mustafa the Moslem merchant to come 
here." All the family wondered what he wanted of the Moslem 
in that solemn hour. 

The man came almost trembling, not knowing what the dying 
man wanted. As he entered, Michael said to him, '' Mustafa, do 
you remember my buying of you such and such goods at such 
and such a time ? " " Yes," he replied. *' Well, I defrauded you 
of a thousand piastres at that time, and now in the presence of 
God and these witnesses, I wish my son to open my box and to 
pay you that sum with interest to this date ! " The Moslem was 
quite overcome, and in silence the son opened the box, counted 
out the money, and payed the man to the last para. The effect 
produced in Tripoli was most profound, and some began to ask 
what this religion could be. 

Michael died calling upon Christ, and to the last refusing the 
ofRces of the priests though he had been one of their most stead- 
fast and uncompromising supporters for many years. Yanni 
wrote to me after this event, full of joy at the apparent hopeful 
conversion of both his brother and uncle before their death, 
" Now," said he, " I know that God hears and answers prayer, 
and I believe that all our family will yet come to Christ" Not- 

Digitized by 


394 Antonius Yanni 

withstanding the fonner opposition of the family to the mission- 
aries, they are now all most cordial and religious services are often 
held at the house. Once, when Yanni's wife gave birth to a 
daughter, the friends and neighbours came in to condole with the 
family, according to Oriental custom, upon the dire calamity 
which had befallen them in the birth of a girl I This was too 
much for Yanni and he at once had the American flag run up to 
topmast on the consular flagstaff*, as a sign of his joy. The 
Turkish pasha, hearing that the flag was up, sent around a kavass 
to inquire what festival he was celebrating, that he might make 
him an official visit When informed of the reason, be was filled 
with unbounded astonishment 

The youngest son of the family was named Samuel from the 
missionary then living in Tripoli. When the name was an- 
nounced, the whole circle of relatives was confounded This was 
a new name indeed. Not one of all the thousands of Tripoli had 
borne it. They knew the names Selim, Butrus, I'heodore, 
Giurgius, Yusef, Daud, Khalil, Ibrahim, Ishoc, and many others, 
but although many had heard of the prophet Samweel, it had 
never been used, any more than Methusaleh is with us. It was 
at length understood that the name was given as a matk of affec* 
tion for the missionary in Tripoli. 

Yanni's benevolence knew no bounds. The poor of every 
sect, Moslem, Maronite, Catholic, and Greek, always found in him 
a friend. He gave systematically the tenth of all his income to 
the Lord, and sometimes more. His faith in God was simple and 
unquestioning. He purchased a small farm in the village of Aba, 
near Tripoli, and the simple-minded people tell various stories of 
divine intervention in his behalf. One day he was looking over 
his olive orchard, and the gardener called his attention to one 
tree, a full-grown olive, which for years had produced nothing, 
and recommended that it be cut down and some fruitful tree be 
planted in its place. '' No," said Yanni, " let us dig about it 
and dung it, as in the Scripture parable, and if it produces fruit, 
it shall be given to the Lord, for the use of the missionaries for- 
ever. If not, cut it down." The next year the limbs of that tree 

Digitized by 


His Childlike Faith in God 395 

bent down under the weight of the luscious olives, and the huge 
earthen olive jars of the missionaries in Tripoli were filled to over- 
flowingy and when the persecution in Safita drove down a great 
company of poor Christians to Tripoli, they feasted on bread and 
olives from this supply for nearly a month. 

At another time, the farmer asked leave to wash the trunks of the 
fig trees in reddish clay, as an offering to Saint John, protector of 
figs. He refused, saying that his trust was in the God of Saint John, 
who could care for all His creatures. That summer, the fig crop 
in that vicinity was a failure, although the trees had been faithfully 
smeared with the reddish clay, but Yanni's trees bore plentifully. 

When he was engaged in building, he burned his own lime in 
a large lime kiln near the village. It was late in the fall of the 
year, and the early rains were expected. The burning was fin- 
ished and the kiln opened on Saturday, and in the afternoon 
preparations were made for carrying the lime under cover in one 
of the houses. Before night the wind blew up from the sea and 
thick black clouds began to roll up from the southwest, threaten- 
ing a heavy rain. The lime was exposed, and if rained upon 
would be ruined, and thousands of piastres lost. The people 
crowded around, and offered to join hands in the morning, as 
they would all be free on Sunday, and take the lime into the 
house. " No indeed," said Yanni. " * They that wait for the 
Lord shall not be ashamed ' and I will not break the Sabbath if I 
lose all my lime." The next day the sky thickened and the 
storm came on. In all the villages on the plain, the rain came 
down in torrents and the dry beds of the streams overflowed. 
On the west, south, east, and the north, the country was almost 
deluged, but in the village of Aba, hardly a drop fell to the 
ground, and on Monday morning the lime kiln was as dry as 
Gideon's fleece. The people all gazed in wonder, and began to 
believe that Yanni's prayers to Oirist were more availing than all 
their prayers to saints and angels. In not a few other instances, 
his faithful observance of the Lord's day has been signally re- 
warded, and he accepts it all as not for his own profit, but for the 
honour of God's name among the people. 

Digitized by 



Sundry Notes and Incidents 

igj2 — The American Palestine Exploration fiasco— Rustum Pasha- 
Prayer — Ramadan. 

LIEUTENANT STEEVER, Professor Paine, formerly of 
Robert College, Rev. Mr. Ballantine, Rev. A. A. Haines, 
C. E., and others left Beirut in March, 1873, to explore 
and map trans-Jordanic Syria. They had many and valuable 
instruments worth ^15,000 loaned by the American government 
and did substantial service, but the '' Map " has never realized the 
hopes of the society although they mapped 600 square miles. A 
want of harmony among the staff well-nigh wrecked the expe- 

Lieutenant Steever, the head of the expedition, laboured under 
the strange delusion that he was commander of a military expe- 
dition in an enemy's country. He laid down martial rules for 
the camp, and gave orders to Mr. Haines and Professor Paine as 
if they were privates under his military control. Without con- 
sulting them he would announce his plan for the day just before 
starting and subject them to humiliating rules and conditions. 

The New York Society had appointed Drs. Thomson, Van 
Dyck, Bliss, Post, and H. H. Jessup a local advisory committee 
to whom the expedition were primarily to report. May 20th we 
received a letter from Lieutenant Steever complaining of the in- 
efficiency of his assistants. On the 26th of August we were sur- 
prised by the arrival in Beirut of Rev. A. A. Haines and Rev. 
Ballantine who had fled post-haste from the camp, having been 
threatened by Lieutenant Steever with a court martial. We had 
a committee meeting and seeing no possibility of their being able 
to work longer with the lieutenant, we approved iheir taking the 


Digitized by 


Rustum Pasha 397 

first steamer for home. And thus the first exploration expedi- 
tion collapsed. 

Arrival of H. E. Rustum Pasha, May, 1873 

As stated in the account of the reorganization of the Lebanon 
District in 1860-61, the pashas of the Lebanon were to be there- 
after Latin Catholics owing to the great predominance of the 
Maronite and Papal Greek sects in Lebanon. 

The first pasha was Daud, an Armenian Catholic, a scholarly 
man who had published in French a history of the laws of the 
Anglo-Saxon nations and was a man of liberal views, firm and 
just in administration. 

The second was Franco, a Papal Greek, a well-meaning but 
not an energetic man, who died in office. 

Rustum Pasha, the third in the line, was an Italian by birth, 
long in the Turkish service, recently the Turkish ambassador to 
St Petersburg, and the ablest and most just and efficient gov- 
ernor ever known in or out of Lebanon. He kept the ambi- 
tious and domineering Romish hierarchy within bounds and 
procured the exile of the Maronite Bishop B— , who had in- 
trigued against the government At first he viewed the Ameri- 
can schools with suspicion, as he regarded us on a par with the 
^* clergy " who were always engaged in political intrigues, but on 
a careful study of them, became their warm friend and supporter. 
He had planned a system of government schools in Lebanon and 
appointed as superintendent a man who, unbeknown to the 
pasha, was a mere tool of the ecclesiastics. He was told to open 
schools in the most needy districts, and proceeded to open them 
only in the towns and villi^es where American schools had been 
in operation for twenty years. He threatened all who should 
send their children to other than government schools, and yet left 
the entire Maronite district of Northern Lebanon with its 150,000 
people without a school. When finally the true inwardness of 
the man's character became known to the pasha he ordered every 
government school in towns occupied by the Americans to be 
closed. The superintendent was cashiered and the pasha was 

Digitized by 


398 Sundry Notes and Incidents 

indignant that he had been hoodwinked by a tool of the priests 
and monks. Rustum Pasha put a stop to bribery, punished 
crime, built roads and encouraged reform. Up to that time the 
sanitary condition of Lebanon was vile beyond description and 
he compelled every householder to conform to sanitary rules. 
A priest in Zahleh knocked down a Protestant and smote him with 
his shoe. The pasha banished the priest to a village outside of 
Lebanon and forbade his return to Zahleh. He generally spent 
his winters in Beirut and was fond of showing to diildren his fine 
collection of stuffed bears which he had shot when living in 

One day an eccentric foreigner, who spoke English and was 
more zealous than wise, called on the pasha. When ushered 
into his private room, the man marched up to the pasha and ex- 
claimed, '' Are you prepared to die ? " The pasha sprang back, 
opened a drawer, took out his revolver and said to the man, 

** What do you mean ? Leave this room at once, or " and 

the man backed out in great terror. Some friends warned him 
against trying that kind of evangelistic labour again. 

The pasha was a warm friend of Rev. Gerald F. Dale, Jr., of 
Zahleh, and gave him every facility in the prosecution of his 
work. He admired Mr. Dale's courtesy and open-hearted 

At one time he had his administrative headquarters at Ghuzir, in 
the Maronite Mountain, in full view of Beirut and about fifteen 
miles up the coast to the northeast One day his clerk was filling 
cartridges for the pasha's fowling-piece, but did it so clumsily 
that the pasha said, " Give me the cartridge case and hammer 
and I will teach you how to do it." Taking the copper case in 
his left hand he struck the charge with the hammer, when the 
cartridge exploded tearing his left hand to tatters. The pasha's 
doctor was called but said he could do nothing but stop the 
bleeding and said to the pasha, " There is no man in Syria can 
help you but Dr. Post of the American G>llege in Beirut" 
Dr. Post was telegraphed for, and a special Turkish revenue 
cutter ordered to take him from Beirut to the seashore bdow 

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A Grateful Patient 399 

Ghuzir. He went at once and by frequent visits and that skill 
which has made Dr. Post famous throughout the East, he suc- 
ceeded in saving all but two fingers of the hand. 

The pasha's gratitude knew no bounds. On his recovery he 
visited the college, studied all its departments and by official cor- 
respondence with his old friends, the Turkish ministers in Con- 
stantinople, did all in his power to further the interests of the college 
and all American schools. After completing his term of office 
he left Syria, to the regret of all true friends of law and justice, 
and became Turkish ambassador to London where he died 
greatly respected. 


A clergyman of the Church of England, a free lance, came to 
Syria desiring to baptize men. Not knowing the Arabic he was 
easily imposed upon and baptized a Bedawy renegade who went 
to Alexandria and I wrote to Mr. Strang, American missionary, 
there as follows : 

" As to the gentle Bedawy, yes, Dr. did baptize him 

and soon after he was baptized he told the natives in Suk el 
Gharb that ' When you tar a camel, it covers the skin but does 
not reach the bones,' i, e., that he is outwardly a Christian but in- 
wardly what he always was — a Bedawy. He eloped with a girl 
of his tribe in the Bookaa,'and the tribe pursued and killed her and 
tried to kill him and so he ran and turned Christian. Be careful 
not to leave him around where there are elopable women and 
girls. His weakness runs (one part of it) in that direction." 

At the close of the communion service one Sabbath, a young 
man met me at the door and said, " Fereedy and I are in great 
trouble. Our little girl of nine months is dead, and now our lit- 
tle boy of three years is dangerously ill, and we want you to pray 
for him. We are Greeks but we feel that you know how to pray 
better than we do, and ' the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous 
man availeth much.' Fereedy is your pupil and says she knows 
that you will pray for our little Habeeb." I found that he was 

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400 Sundry Notes and Incidents 

the husband of that beautiful girl Fereedy» once in our school, and 
that Dr. Post performed an operation on the little boy last week 
removing a large stone from his bladder, from which he had been 
suflering untold agony for months. All went well after the 
operation until Thursday night when the little fellow got up in 
the night while all were asleep and went to the bottle of nitrate 
of potash which Dr. Post had prepared with a sweet syrup and 
drank the entire contents at once, enough for sixteen doses, one 
every three hours. On Friday he was very ill and on Sunday 
the case became critical. Ameen came to ask our prayers. I told 
him I would do as he requested, and also asked the young ladies 
in the seminary to pray for the child. On Monday noon I went 
to the house, and found the child decidedly better, and the 
father's heart burst out, *' We knew you were praying, for the 
child grew better from the time we left you." I remained some 
time and prayed with them urging upon them the duty of pray- 
ing for the child themselves. 

Another incident in Beirut shows how the people of other sects 
look upon Protestant prayers. A young Moslem of the aristo- 
cratic family of Beit Berbeer, who had been some time in Mr. 
Bistany's school, came in greatanxiety to a Protestant young man 
who keeps a shop near Mr. Bistany's school and said, *' I beg you 
to pray for me that I may escape die draft and draw a white paper. 
I went to the Moslem sheikh and asked him to pray for me and 
he would not and laughed at me. I know that you Protestants 
ask what you need from God, and He grants it, and there are no 
prayers like yours." So Khalil, who is a converted Druse, went 
around to Sit Khozma, who was one of Dr. De Forest's pupils, 
and she promised to pray for the Moslem. Hearing this he went 
with a light heart to the seraia, and awaited the drawing. He 
drew a white paper and came back to Khalil in perfect delight, 
declaring that there is no prayer like that of the Christians. Said 
Khalil, " Be careful how you say that before your father." He 
answered, " I will say it before the world, for it is true." 

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Ramadan — Fast vs. Feast 401 

It is Ramadan, the thirty days' fast of the Mohammedan 
world. It is a sacred fast, rigidly kept. A true Moslem will eat 
nothing from sunrise to sunset, drink nothing and smoke noth- 
ing, and not even smell sweet odours. But when the sunset gun 
fires, which is the dinner bell of two hundred millions, the fast is 
suddenly transformed into a feast The whole family of Islam 
rush to the dinner table as if famine stricken. The evening is 
spent in social visiting and then a nap is indulged in until mid- 
night, when the whole city is aroused to eat by the patrol who 
beat huge drums with a deafening clamour. Then another nap 
and another gormandizing before day dawns and then the faith- 
ful are ready for the abnegations of the day. This year 
Ramadan falls in a month of short days and long nights, so that 
it is comparatively easy. The price of provisions is higher than 
usual. Shopkeepers say that the Moslems buy up all the best 
provisions at any price. This is a comment on Moslem self- 
denial. They eat more, and buy more expensive food in 
Ramadan than in any other month of the year. 

It is much the same with the Papists and Greeks. They fast 
on Wednesday and Friday of every week. That is they eat no 
meat But they can eat fish in every style, and fruits, vegetables, 
and sweetmeats, of the most exquisite varieties. 

Ramadan is a grand nocturnal festival, and the Greek weekly 
lasts are a compulsory variation of the bill of fare. 

A young Bedawy youth i^ed fifteen came to me one Saturday 
desiring to become a Christian. I asked who Christ is. He 
said,*' He is the Exalted God and came down here and slew Him- 
self to save us." I have taken steps to get him into a school on 
trial, to see whether he is in earnest or not 

In November, 1873, 1 wrote to Dr. Ellinwood as follows: 

*' A notable week has just passed, as the Arabic has it, ' Yo- 
beel ' or jubilee week in Beirut, it being just fifty years since the 
American missionaries settled in Beirut. On Wednesday, No- 
vember 19th, services were held in the English language in the 
church at 3 p. m. and addresses were made by Dr. Thomson, Dr. 
Post and myself, and the devotional exercises conducted by Dr. 

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402 Sundry Notes and Incidents 

Van Dyck, Mr. Calhoun, and Rev. Mr. Robertson, our ex- 
cellent Scotch pastor. In the evening a social reunion was held 
in the house of Mr. Robertson at which informal addresses were 
made by Dr. Bliss, Dr. Wortabet, and Professor Porter of the 
Syrian Protestant College and Dr. Brigstocke, the resident British 

''These exercises had special reference to the long-continued 
cordial cooperation of the British and American residents in Syria 
in a joint religious service for half a century in the English lan- 
guage. And it is a fact worthy of mention that in this land of 
the Bible, so much of the Bible spirit has prevailed, as to induce 
Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and 
Baptists from America, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales to 
worship together and commune together for fifty years with 
hardly ever a jar or discord. It was worthy of a jubilee of grati- 
tude and praise to God. Last Sabbath, November 23d, the 
jubilee was made the subject of remark in the Arabic service, and 
on Monday evening about 200 of the Syrian people assembled at 
my house to celebrate the occasion in the Arabic language. We 
had music and simple refreshments, and then addresses by Messrs. 
B. Bistany, Elias Fuaz, and Ibrahim Sarkis, who reviewed the 
history of the past fifty years in Syria. Mr. Sarkis read in the 
first place the bull of the Maronite partriarch in 1825 cursing the 
Protestant Bible and forbidding its distribution and sale in Syria, 
and then a statement of the number of Bibles and reUgious books 
published since that time. The whole number of Scriptures is 
about 70,000 and of religious books about 90,000 in the Arabic 
language, making a total of 160,000 volumes which at an average 
of 500 pages would make 80,000,000. This is hardly what the 
Maronite patriarch anticipated. 

*' 1 have just returned from a house of mourning, not a house 
where death has entered, but where a sad calamity has befallen 
the family. Ishoc, a faithful preacher, has an invalid wife named 
Laiya, and lately sent to Hums, his native city, for his sister 
Fetny to come and aid in the domestic affairs. Last week Fetny, 
who has one blind eye, was attacked with ophthaUnia which is 

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Strong Reinforcement — The Drought Ends 403 

now an epidemic in a virulent form and highly contagious, and in 
forty*eight hours lost the other eye, becoming stone blind^ 
Then Laiya was attacked and has lost both eyes ! I went in the 
evening to see them. They sat silent on their low beds, one on 
the floor and the other on a divan. Not one word of complaint 
escaped them. They seemed rejoiced to hear a word of comfort 
and said that they had great peace of mind in the faith that it was 
the hand of the Lord, who does all things well. Ishoc said, as I 
entered the door, * My dear brother, how I bless God for the re- 
ligion of Jesus Christ I How could I bear such a stroke without 
His aid?' The poor women also said that they had not one 
word of complaint to utter, and could only bless God for Hii 
mercies. It would do our friends in America good to enter this 
room of physical blindness and witness the blessed effects of the 
faith of Jesus which is truly like a light shining in a dark place." 

November i8th was a glad day for us in Beirut. That mis- 
sionary company which then reached us was probably as gladly 
greeted as any company that has ever arrived here. All were in 
perfect health and cheerful spirits, and we are thankful for such a 
reinforcement to our missionary band. 

The party consisted of Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Jessup and two 
children. Rev. F. W. March, a new recruit. Miss Emily Bird of 
Abeih, Miss Fisher, and a teacher for Constantinople. 

Mr. March has gone to Zahleh for the winter ; Miss Fisher is 
established with the female seminary to the great joy of her fet 
low teachers, and is laying siege to the Arabic gutturals. 

The arrival of my brother. Rev. Samuel Jessup, fresh from re- 
viving intercourse with the American churches and especially 
from the great meeting of the Evangelical Alliance, added new 
interest to all these jubilee meetings, and he has given us ac- 
counts of the meeting both in Arabic and English. We have 
great reason for gratitude for the safe arrival of his large party 
after that long trip of 7,000 miles, and there was peculiar occasion 
for thanksgiving that they arrived no later. They had hardly 
reached their resting places in our various homes when the gath- 

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404 Sundry Notes and Incidents 

ering tempest burst upon us. The sea was lashed into fury and 
the rain poured in a literal deluge. Five inches of rain fell in 
Beirut in that one night between sunset and sunrise. The cus- 
tom-house was submerged by a flood of muddy water and ^50,000 
worth of goods were destroyed. The thunder and lightning were 
almost continuous for twenty-four hours. In the midst of it 
all Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun rode down from Abeih, five hours on 
horseback, to attend the jubilee, and during our meetings, which 
were well attended, the crash of the thunder was so violent as 
almost to drown the voices of the speakers. But we all rejoiced 
in the abundant rain and although several boxes of missionary 
goods were in that ill-fated custom-house, and were saturated 
with muddy water, our friends took joyfully the spoiling of their 
goods, in view of the universal gladness of the Syrian people that 
the eight months' drought had come to an end. Men looked 
complacently on the falling walls, the washing away of terraces, 
the gullying of highwa}rs, the inundation of shops and store- 
houses, for the prices of wheat and flour had fallen, the poor 
were freed from the famine prices of the past few months and 
Moslems and Greeks, Maronites and Protestants, Druses and 
Jews, forgetting their diflerences, congratulated one another on 
the •* rahmet Allah " the mercy of God to the suffering land. 

The Tripoli Girls' School was opened by Mrs. Shrimpton, for- 
merly of the British Syrian Schools, and Miss Kip, in the Yanni 
house, the domestic department being conducted by Dr. and Mrs. 
G. B. Danforth. Dr. Dennis was called to the theological semi- 
nary on account of his ripe scholarship and love of literary pur- 
suits. The judgment of the mission was fully justified. While in 
connection with the seminary he prepared, with the aid of Mr. 
R. Berbari and Mr. Ibrahim Haurani, three works which have 
become standards in theological instruction wherever the Arabic 
language is used : a treatise on theology in two volumes, based 
largely upon Hodge, but abridged, with judicious additions and 
adaptations to suit the Oriental environment, Evidences of 
Christianity, and Biblical Interpretation. 

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